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What is a Coruscation? A Librocubicularist? A Lollapaloosa?

The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use. The average 16 year old has a vocabulary of only 10,000-12,000 words. You do the math, but basically, there are more than 160,000 words that you don’t know! Let’s see if we can fix that.

Here is a haphazard selection of weird and wonderful words that you probably have never heard of (I hadn’t.)

Coruscation: (1) glitter; sparkle (2) a brilliant flash of wit

Librocubicularist: one who reads in bed.

Lollapaloosasomething outstandingly good of its kind

For example: In 1897 the Idaho Daily Statesman wrote: “‘A lalla-pa-loosa,’ answered big John, and threw his hand to Scovel. There was a jack of hearts and a deuce, tray, four and five of diamonds.”  Read more>>

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On Dictionary.com, you can sign up to receive their “Word of the Day.” How much easier can it get? Today’s “Word of the Day” is:

Pecuniary: related to money

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Want more? (Yes! YES!) Check out these websites.

World Wide Words – Includes a list of weird words AND their etymologies!

Etymology*: the study of the history of words and how their form and meaning have changed over time

*Etymology is not on the World Wide Words list, but it’s a good word to know given the topic. Don’t you think? =)

Cool and Obscure Words

Deipnosophist: someone skilled in making dinner-table conversation

Obscure Words

Nelipot: someone who is walking without shoes

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If you still crave more (as you should), here are some books to appease your appetite for the unusual, obscure, and preposterous.

Mrs. Byrne’s dictionary of unusual, obscure, and preposterous words : gathered from numerous and diverse authoritative sources By: (Guess who?) Mrs. Byrne.

The highly selective thesaurus for the extraordinarily literate By: Eugene Ehrlich

Enjoy!

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