Topic

You keep using that word - I don't think it means what you think it means...

I enjoy using interesting words, but sometimes words just aren't heard very often, and when they pop into my head, I'm uncertain if they really mean what I think they do. So I don't use them.

So I've started looking up the words that pop into my head (probably bubbling up from a book I read long ago) so I'm certain of the definition and can use them properly.

Does anyone else have some unusual/interesting words that they'd like to use more often?  Or a word you suddenly realised meant something very different than you had thought?

The two words that bubbled through my brain filter today:
Friable: meaning fragile or frangible.
Sobriquet: a nickname.
Favourite Words -
Grandiloquent: overblown and pompous.
Gracile: graceful and slender.

Posted 8 years ago by Trowzers Subscriber! | Permalink

Replies

  • I love the word tintinnabulation: the act or instance of the ringing or pealing of bells

    Reaaaally not one of those words that you can just bust out in every day conversation though. 

    I like using just ludicrous words when I'm writing essays for uni though :D
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Haha - nice one!
    Posted 8 years ago by Trowzers Subscriber! | Permalink
  • p.s. thanks for the add :)
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Inconceivable!
    Posted 8 years ago by Zany Serendipity Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Always makes me think of Princess Bride :)
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Some words I like:
    Anomie: social instability caused by breakdown or lack of standards or values.
    Thrum: a continuous hum.
    Velocipede:  any human-powered land vehicle with one or more wheels
    A special mention:
    Egregious: conspicuous/exceptional (usually in a negative context).
    Finally, you keep using that word - I do not think it means what you think it means.
    Universe refers to everything that exists everywhere. You cannot have more than one universe, because if you did they would technically be part of the same universe.
    Posted 8 years ago by Frederik Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Yes the title is purely a Princess Bride reference - glad to see some fans in here :)

    Universe - Egads! Someone should tell those pesky scientists they need another name for those parellel universes! Does that also mean that universe shouldn't have a plural form?
    Posted 8 years ago by Trowzers Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I also like the word pontificate.

    I have a habit of using words in assignments and such without actually knowing the meaning of them. But you know how you sort of know what context to use words in without necessarily knowing what they mean.
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • exegesis - critical explanation or interpretation of a text.  I look forward to the master exegesis of the writings of the giants.  Humbaba especially.

    A family favorite is chatoyance, which is the glittering of sunlight on water or gemstones.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • You could argue that "Universe" means everything that exists in the universe in which we live, just as earth exists only on the Earth we live on and the Sun refers to our sun in particular. Until other universes are discovered there is no real need to name them.

    Also, the best joke from The Princess Bride is a cross-language pun:
    "Ho there!"
    "You can keep your joder!"
    (It's a Spanish joke. I never really heard the nuance in it until after I lived in Spain for two years, and I had to watch it three times to make sure I heard Inigo properly, but he definitely says "joder" instead of "ho there". "Joder" by the way is the F-bomb)
    Posted 8 years ago by Skwid Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Isn't the plurality problem why, often, the word "multiverse" is used?

    I'm synaesthetic, mostly to do with sound and the written word, so I find certain words I like the sound and look of better than others. I'm especially enamored of "-esce", "-escent" or "-ascent" words- "phosphoresce", "crescent", "nascent", "fluorescent", etc. In situations like that, though, it has less to do with the meaning than the sound and shape of the word.
    Posted 8 years ago by Djabriil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • A favourite word overused at work (in government): fulsome.
    As in, "We'll provide you with a fulsome report." "The Deputy Minister requires a fulsome explanation."

    They mean "thorough". I really don't think they mean "excessive", "offensive to good taste", or "insincerely lavish", but it makes me giggle every time.
    Posted 8 years ago by Voluptua Sneezelips Subscriber! | Permalink
  • "Pulchritude" I'm rather a fan of... it means (roughly) attractive, but sounds like a bowel ailment.
    Posted 8 years ago by Djabriil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I've always thought pulchritude sounds like it should relate to someones voluptuousness.  
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • It sorta reminds me of sepulchres by the sound.
    Posted 8 years ago by Djabriil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Her voluptuous pulchritude was shrouded in the sepulchre....
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Chiaroscuro is the most beautiful word ever.
    Posted 8 years ago by g33kgurrl Subscriber! | Permalink
  • +1 to g33k.  There are some things English doesn't handle well.  I particularly love the way "jeg elsker deg" flows in Norwegian.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • A plethora of ubiquitous (okay not really) and scintillating words. Others I like: Vapid and obsequious come to mind. Onomatopoeia. 

    Djabriil: What about tumescent? Oh, THLOP!
    Posted 8 years ago by RM Subscriber! | Permalink
  • THLOP indeed.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Succinct - 

    My teacher required all test answers be succinct.

     compact precise expression without wasted words 
    Posted 8 years ago by xoxJulie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • "Brevity is the soul of wit."
     - Shakespeare

    (Of course, he had Polonius say it - and Polonius was a pompous gasbag [2 other REALLY GOOD WORDS], so there's that....)
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • forsooth is a good'n
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I'm ambivalent. 
    Posted 8 years ago by Shepherdmoon Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Two words that I just like the sound of, well and the meaning or definition of both is a twist.
    Conundrum and doppelganger.
    Posted 8 years ago by Saba Moon Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I throw out the word "Vernacular" whenever I think I can get away with it.

    I also enjoy benevolent and malevolent.  In that same vein I'll also stick in benign and malignant.
    Posted 8 years ago by Vicereine LinnŠa Subscriber! | Permalink
  • haha doppelganger is an amazing word Saba, I love it.

    Antithesis is also enjoyable.
    Posted 8 years ago by Jeff Buckley Subscriber! | Permalink
  • My favorite words are the ones we make up in our family, such as the word amazilous - a cross between amazing and marvelous. 

    But as for a word that doesn't mean what I thought it meant, I present the word puce. All my life I thought it was a gross yellowy-green color, like chartreuse. Then last year my daughter was looking for a word to describe a color, so I was looking up words on thesaurus.com and discovered puce is actually reddish/purplish brown!! So I've totally been using it wrong my whole life!
    Posted 8 years ago by Zany Serendipity Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Ecru is another of those colour words.  It means a light-brown/beige (like unbleached cloth) but I always pictured it as a more icky dark greeny brown.
    Posted 8 years ago by Trowzers Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Similarly, "opaque" sounds to me like it should mean "translucent," not the reverse.
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Have you guys played on www.freerice.com? ;

    It's my favorite vocabulary site, ever.
    Posted 8 years ago by Feylin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I find I get this ALOT
    discombobulated ;)
    Posted 8 years ago by Misha Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @jasbo - "opaque" to me seems like a "round and thick" word, if that makes any sense ("quality" is another one of those for me), so I always though it matched reasonably... I think it's the full-stop "K"-sound at the end.
    Posted 8 years ago by Djabriil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • @Djabrill - it's the whibbly bit in the middle with the soft plosives that makes it sound as if at least watery light should be able to pass through it... to me, at least...
    Posted 8 years ago by jasbo Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Propensity fun to say 
    Posted 8 years ago by xoxJulie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • enunciate 
    Posted 8 years ago by xoxJulie Subscriber! | Permalink
  • In my house saying "spectacles spectacles spectacles" will always bring laughs!
    Posted 8 years ago by Zany Serendipity Subscriber! | Permalink