6 Mar 2011

Uncommon Words

Zenzizenzizenzic - The eighth power of a number, i.e. the zenzizenzizenzic of x = x8

Callipygian - Having well-shaped buttocks. Probably a suitable description for Jennifer Lopez?

Dumbledore - A bumblebee. Also the name of a certain professor...

Kvetch - Verb: to complain. Noun: a person who complains a LOT.

Oojah - Instead of just calling it a "thingy", you could call it an oojah if you're not sure what to call it.

Ceraunograph - An instrument that detects radio waves generated by lightning discharges and records their occurrence.

Floccinaucinihilipilification - The act or habit of describing or regarding something as worthless.

Cataglottism - Kissing with the tongue, i.e. French kissing. Maybe you can tell your partner to perform some cataglottism without anyone else around you knowing what that means?

Syzygy - A kind of unity; in astronomy the term refers to the straight-line alignment of three celestial bodies in space, usually the Sun, Earth and Moon. So solar and lunar eclipses would occur at times of syzygy.

Xenoglossy/Xenoglossia - The phenomenal ability to speak or write a language which the person supposedly could not have acquired naturally. So a man who exhibits xenoglossy might be able to speak Russian with zero exposure to the language, culture, country or people at all!

Rhinotillexomania - Nose-picking. If you see someone always digging for "gold", you could say, "EEEEW he's such a rhinotillexomaniac!" Although more people might stare at you than at him. Still on the topic of habits...

Bruxism - Activity including teeth-grinding and jaw-clenching. Someone who does that is called a bruxer.

Engastrimyth - A ventriloquist. If you don't know that either, ventriloquism involves manipulating your voice to make it sound like it's coming from somewhere other than yourself, usually a puppet that they use as the prop.

Knismesis & Gargalesis - Both refer to tickling. Knismesis is light feather-like tickling, often accompanied by itching, while gargalesis is harder laughter-inducing tickling. The response to gargalesis is called gargalesthesia. And if you know someone who is very sensitive to tickling, he/she may have hypergargalesthesia!

Phrop - Used to indicate a polite statement used in social contexts where the true meaning is the opposite of what is expressed. In other words, verbal hypocrisy. "Phrop" seems to be "Phrase" + "opposite". Example of a phrop: someone might say: "I don't mean to brag, but..." when his actual intention is this: "I'm going to show off in front of you, because I'm better than you!" Or: "With all due respect..." = "I'm going to humiliate you right now!!!"