On Feb. 14, let these words draw you in and caress your mind.
You’ll like the way they look. You’ll like the way they sound. Most of all, you’ll like them because they’re unusual, archaic and fun. (If we could only find a way to work them into our press releases.)
What words are you in love with, PR Daily readers? Here are 14 fun ones:
1. Beslobber —to smear with spittle or anything running from the mouth.
In this drunken and beslobbered state, Jacob needed a towel rather than a handkerchief.
2. Denouement— the final outcome of a story, generally occurring after the climax of the plot.
Once the killer’s identity was revealed and he drew his last breath, the denouement focused on the sole survivor’s realization that she must take her own life or be blamed for the murders.
3. Disingenuous — not straightforward or candid; insincere and calculating.
It’s disingenuous to encourage others to donate when you have no intention of contributing.
4. Mundungus— a foul smelling tobacco; animal waste (not just a character from the “Harry Potter” series).
“His off-label cigarettes are little better than mundungus,” quipped the tobacco connoisseur.
5. Nonplussed— bewildered or unsure of how to respond. (That look when someone’s been blindsided in a conversation or meeting.)
Her daughter’s revelation that she had eloped left Margaret nonplussed.
6. Onomatopoeia— the naming of something by a vocal imitation of the sound associated with it (hiccup, hiss, thud).
Despite his limited command of English, the onomatopoeia of, “I’ll whap you,” got Fritz’s attention.
7. Parvenu— a person who suddenly rises to a higher social or economic class, but who has not gained acceptance in that class.
Though his new business was making him a fortune, the city’s elites still shunned him at cocktail parties, deeming him a new-money parvenu.
8. Pensive— engaging in serious thought or reflection; given to earnest musing that implies anxiety, depression or gloom. (Think “Hamlet.”)
With the capital trial weighing on his shoulders, the judge adopted a pensive demeanor.
9. Perspicacity— keen insight; power to mentally grasp or understand clearly.
His perspicacity allowed him to know he had offended her, but his powers of intuition stopped short of identifying the root cause of her anger.
10. Popliteal —the area behind the knee.
She was sensitive in the popliteal area, leaving her defenseless to a tickling attack.
11. Portmanteau —a large suitcase or trunk that opens into two equal parts.
That portmanteau won ‘ t fit in the overhead bin and must be checked.
12. Sesquipedalian— measuring 18 inches; a long word; a person who uses long words.
Your sesquipedalian phrasing prevents the reader from connecting with your writing—and it wastes paper.
13. Supercilious — having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain for those viewed as unworthy.
The people found Marie Antoinette’s declaration to let the poor “eat cake” supercilious, and they lopped off her head for it.
14. Vestibule— a small hallway or passage between the outer door and the interior of a house or building.
Kindly leave your boots in the vestibule; we just had the floors waxed.
Laura Hale Brockway is a regular contributor to PR Daily. Read more of her posts on writing and editing at impertinentremarks.com.