Instead of a theme-oriented post I thought I pull out at random what I have collected over the last couple of months. Hope you find a few you can use.
2. mellifluous: flowing with honey; sweetened with or as if with honey
3. yare: quick; agile; lively
4. desideraturm: something wanted or needed
5. supercilious: haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression
6. mal du pays: homesickness
7. perfervid: very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned
8. garboil: confusion
9. lagniappe: a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus
10. friable: easily crumbled or reduced to powder; crumbly
Ten words that can zip up the most mundane of conversations. Think of the possibilities.
“He seemed to enjoy the lagniappe he received for spending so much money in the store.”
I was quite chuffed, having received quite a positive response from my Kangaroo Words post.
And there it was—another strange lexiconical usage of a word. You see “chuffed” (British slang) can mean one is pleased or displeased. It becomes its own antonym. These words are known as “contronyms.”
Here’s a list to get a better idea:
bolt – to secure; to run away
cleave – separate, adhere
clip – fasten, detach
custom- usual, special
dust – add fine particles, remove fine particles
enjoin – prescribe, prohibit
fast – quick, unmoving
fix – restore, castrate
garnish – enhance (e.g., food), curtail (e.g., wages)
give out – produce, stop production
handicap – advantage, disadvantage
left – remaining, departed from
mean – average, excellent (e.g., “plays a mean game”)
out – visible (e.g., stars), invisible (e.g., lights)
put out – extinguish, generate (e.g., something putting out light)
quite – rather, completely
ravel – tangle, disentangle
sanction – approve, boycott
screen – show, hide
table – propose (in the United Kingdom), set aside (in the United States)
unbending – rigid, relaxing
weather – withstand, wear away
Talk about shades of ambiguity! Then again it keeps people on their toes to pay closer attention to the context to better understand the content.
Summer is its own special time, especially July. It’s solidly summer: weather is warmish but not too uncomfortable, events are happening–outdoor concerts, craft fairs, and the like, the lake is tolerable not freezing, school is distant past and not a threat on the horizon.
July requires its own set of vocabulary:
serotinal:pertaining to or occurring in late summer (must be related to serotonin–that feel good chemical in our brain).
phub: to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device (I admit to phubbing when at the park or beach–tuning out people to cocoon in my little bubble of perceived solitude–is this a bad thing though?).
tzimmes: fuss; uproar; hullabaloo (when temps get too warm crankiness arrives and tzimmes is a fitting word).
ergophobia:an abnormal fear of work; an aversion to work (self explanatory).
benighted: intellectually or morally ignorant; unenlightened (unfortunately, there is evidence of this behavior when out and about during summer, especially seen at the beach–oh my–do my students who are life guards have interesting days).
paseo: slow, leisurely walk or stroll (summer evenings when the temp drops a tad and the sun has just disappeared on the horizon, a paseo along the boardwalk after dinner is a lovely way to start/end the evening).
craic: fun and entertainment, especially good conversation and company (often precededby the–English derived, as in “wisecrack”).
solitudinarian: a person who seeks solitude; recluse (me, that’s me–give me a hammock, a book, and a soft breeze and I’ll be a-phubbing for hours).
deracinate: to remove or destroy utterly; extirpate (related to above as in socializing?)
ariose: songlike (“The ariose breeze filtering through the stand of pines added an extra appreciation of the fine quality of this July day.”)
biophilia: a love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life form (but not when they are benighted or phubbing).
sabulous: sandy or gritty (beach wear side effect)
cynosure: something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc. (blue lake, hot day)
pasquinade: a satire or lampoon, especially one posted in a public place (like Taming of the Shrew as a performance in the park–good times having Shakespeare as a summer performance).
joyance: joyous feeling; gladness (that overall summer mood)
hygge: adj.--cozy and comforting; noun–the feeling of cozy and comforting (some may associate this with winter, but being snug in a backyard hammock with a cool breeze playing about is indeed cozy and comforting).
petrichor: a distinctive scent produced by rainfall in dry earth (there is a word for that amazing smell right after the rain hits the hot sidewalk–word nerdiness points!)
Heiligenschein: the ring of light around the shadow cast by a person’s head, especially on a dewy sunlit lawn; halo (you know that photo, the one where you notice that strange glow around the person’s head -“whoa, I didn’t know you were an angel! Look at your halo!)
viator: wayfarer or traveler (got my bags packed and my ticket to go)
vade meecum: something a person carries about for frequent or regular use (a book, of course–summer is prime reading time).
So that’s a batch of summertime words. There are some fabulous ones that I’m determined to slip into casual conversation.
“I see you got your vade meecum ready.
“Wow! Smell that petrichor!”
“Yup, me and the hubs got our bags packed–we’re just a couple of viators ready to hit the road.”
“Nothing like a well-done pasquinade to get a person laughing.”
“These summer concerts have a certain cynosure about them, don’t they?”
What two words are you going to work into a conversation?
Reader’s Digest is a fave to browse while in the numbing hold pattern of doctor office waiting or gym treadmill walking. I came across an article by Bill Bouldon, that cheered my lexiconal heart, one that involved new words that fit the times.
athlelargy: when the call of the recliner wins over the call of treadmill
blamestorming: the process of trying to pinpoint who is the reason for failure
cellfish: that person who make public their private phone conversations to all within listening range
destinesia: when you forget where you were going
ephinot: while it seemed like a bright idea it truly is not
fauxpology: the fake apology
illiteration: the mistaken knowledge of rhetorical devices
metox: taking a break from updating on social media
nonversation: meaningless chatter
pregret: knowing full well the course of action you are about to take is going to one of regret–but do so anyway
*sonergy: the energy that suddenly bursts from within upon seeing the sun after a period of gloomy weather
textpectation: the waiting for a text reply
*uberjoyed: getting a ride with a driver who gets you to your destination with expediency and courtesy
What new words can you think up that fill the bill for our changing times?
I am smitten with a new-to-me word.
Let me first preface the unveiling of this word with a personal disclosure: if I were suddenly transformed into a flower it would be a sunflower. Their unique talent of keeping tuned in to the sun, turning their faces towards light, and following it throughout the day is something I understand.*
*sunflowers apparently follow the sun only when in the bud stage–once open they tend to face east, and this is attributed to protecting the seeds from the stronger rays of the south exposure (that is a smart flower!)
Here is a confession: I crave light. I revel in basking in sunlight. I have been accused of being a sun goddess (did not sound complimentary at the time), and I panic at the thought of being in a room without windows for a great length of time (my first year of teaching involved such a room). As long as I have daylight in some form I am content. Oh yay for my Happy Light.
I’m not keen on laying out in the sun for the sake of bronzing, yet I will do so, just to absorb the warmth, that therapeutic solar embrace. The tan is a by-product. I’m basically striving to store up remembrance of the sunlight for when winter hits my region. One student recently defined our winter as “except July and August”–slight exaggeration, but winters tend to be a solid six months around here.
Around October I wake up in darkness and finish the school day with the last rays setting. One teacher went to part-time because teaching in an interior room meant she never saw any light and it created havoc in her health. I have two windows in my present classroom and I am blessed and thankful.
Sunlight in winter. That’s a wonderful day. The snow can be up to the windows. The temperature can be dipping to stingy in warmth, yet if I can have the sun shine down and kiss my face before the cold requires covering, spring seems a reasonable distance I can bear.
Apricity: the warmth of the sun in winter.
According to Merriam-Webster.com:
n. Apricity appears to have entered our language in 1623, when Henry Cockeram recorded (or possibly invented) it for his dictionary The English Dictionary; or, An Interpreter of Hard English Words. Despite the fact that it is a delightful word for a delightful thing it never quite caught on, and will not be found in any modern dictionary aside from the Oxford English Dictionary.
Another source defines it as:
“the feeling of the sun on one’s skin in winter.”
Katie Williams,Tell the Machine Goodnight (2018)
And that is why this word from yesteryear needs a campaign to retrieve it out of the archaic word vaults and pin it up on the contemporary lines of expression.
To feel the sun on my skin to offset the challenge of winter
Apricity: the bestowing of the sun’s restorative kisses, to bring warmth and sustenance to the gates of that bleak city called winter
An offering. A reprieve. A promise.
I don’t know how I got involved in Quora. I’m not a fan of collecting social media apps. I do like looking up information, as well as answering questions. Must be that librarian/teacher thing I got going on.
This year I tussled with Quora. In the backlash of extra security measures they weren’t accepting that my nom de plume of Cricket Muse was acceptable. Right. Like I’m hiding something? Plotting something? After a terse exchange and proof that Cricket Muse was being used professionally (book reviews, and author signify in a Chicken Soup), they relented and I dusted off my time out and returned to avoiding obvious homework inquires: “What are the literary elements found in chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird?” and trying my best to answer uniquely interesting and entertaining questions: “What books are recommended for starting up a conversation?”
I admit I do not maintain my Quora profile, or do not even check my stats (I don’t check my WordPress stats much either. I just like writing). I do occasionally get time loss as I get involved in writing an answer. Sometimes a dialogue ensues and the same person keeps asking questions. Umm, then it seems weird and I retreat from Quora for awhile. So drop in to Quora sometime and ask me something. No, not about quantum physics, but I’m fairly adept at Shakespeare stuff and cows. No one asks about cows though. I don’t understand why.