Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Cornucopia of Beautiful Words



I am philologist. Philologist: (obsolete) a lover of learning and literature. Or, perhaps, if I could invent a word, I would call myself a lexophile. Lexo: word. Phile: Love.

And thus, with that introduction under way, let me explain:

As you guys have effusively recommended me to do, I am reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Unfortunately, it hasn't enthralled me as Middlesex did, but oh, well. At least the writing is exquisite. And I've learned a few new words:


Phantasmagoria: a sequence of real or imaginary images like that seen in a dream.

Denude: strip (something) of its covering, possessions, or assets.

Brite: a British person.

Monolithic: formed of a single large block of stone. (Of a building) very large and characterless. // (Of an organization or system) large, powerful, indivisible, and slow to change.

Geriatric: relating to old people, especially with regard to their health care.

Averred: (formal) state or assert to be the case. 

Catatonia: (psychiatry) abnormality of movement and behaviour arising from a disturbed mental state (typically schizophrenia). 

Succubus: a female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men.

Paltry: (of an amount) very small or meagre.

Bowdlerize: remove material that is considered improper or offensive form (a text or account), especially with the result that the text becomes weaker or less effective.

Kook: a mad or eccentric person.

Polymath: a person of wide knowledge or learning.

Zeugma: a figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses.

Prescience: the fact of knowing something in advance; foreknowledge.

Cursory: hasty and therefore not thorough or detailed.


Beauts. Could send cryptic messages of SOS to my adoring neighbours, as the Lisbon sisters did, with them.

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