Though I strive to use simple, clear terms in my own writing, there are some words that I am just dying to use. Archaic, unusual words that I have stumbled upon in fiction. Words that have drawn me in. I like the ways these words sound. I like the way they look.
If I could only find a way to work them into my next article on surgical checklists.
Vex. To cause someone to feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried.
Example: You take delight in vexing me by deliberately using bad grammar.
Portmanteau. A large suitcase or trunk that opens into two equal parts.
Example: That portmanteau will not fit in the overhead bin and must be checked.
Naught. Means zero or nothing. It can also mean to ruin, disregard, or despise.
Example: Her behavior tends to set propriety at naught.
Foible. A weakness or eccentricity in someone’s character.
Example: She loved him in spite of his foibles.
Parvenu. A person who has suddenly risen to a higher social or economic class, but who has not gained social acceptance in that class.
Example: He was treated like a parvenu at the country club dinner.
Sentinel. A soldier or guard who keeps watch; to keep guard or watch.