words for 12.12.12

So here are some words I’ve collected that intrigue me largely for their instant visual and aural pleasure (as well as their usage/definitions). Call them high-caliber. Or as Janet Frame put it in Living in Maniototo (1979): “A word, which is exciting to look at and say and which doesn’t slop its meaning over the side, is good; a word which comes up sparkling from the well is good; a word which clusters like last year’s bee around last year’s flower is bad, if the flower is already dead, but good if the flower is surviving, beautiful, and alone in a place where flowers have not been known to grow and where bees never swarmed before nor gathered nectar.”

I twas going to hold off on this list until I got a fellow word-smith to tell me what they think my choices say about me, but that will have to wait. I promised myself I’d get more shit up on this blog in a more timely fashion, so no more perfectionism=procrastination for moi. One thing is obvious, I like the sound of P.

So anyway, here goes. Some of these you may know, others may be new. Look it up! as my Dad used to say, pointing to the big dictionary inside our 1950s two-tiered end table by our “family room” couch. Opening that tomb and learning a new word always thrilled me as a kid, and no doubt was instrumental to my love of language. Thanks, Dad! Anyway, I’ve selectively chosen links to definitions, so click away and see where I – and the words – lead you!

egregore: Sounds like a mythical dragon that breathes fire but its not

shabby : Don’t forget to read the synonyms, they’re great

paradisiacal: You must listen to the audio pronunciation here

dupery: Yes, its a real word

preposterous: Function follows form, or after comes before (no really, check “origins”)

capiche : Need I say more? (note how this site pairs words to get you to learn more: “Capiche is always a great word to know. So is ninnyhammer. Does it mean: …”)

deaded: I overheard a teen on the bus say this on her cell phone about some guy she was seeing: “I deaded that.”

monoracial: Short-lived, contentious, institutionalized, what will be the fate of this one, I wonder…

harpy: The original femme fatale

flummoxed: I just used this in an email, one of the benefits of looking up words is they stay in your mental vocabulary file waiting to be used even if you’re unaware they’re there…or at least thats how its always worked for me