Wayne State University’s Word Warriors have released their top ten words to revive in 2011 . Starting in 2009, the Wayne State Word Warriors have highlighted obscure English words to bring back into common usage. Citing the vast vocabulary available in English – the biggest in the world, in fact — the Word Warriors contend that the depth and elasticity of the language is often disregarded for the quick, easy and accessible word. “Too often we limit ourselves to words that are momentarily popular or broadly applicable, and so rob ourselves of English’s inherent beauty and agility.”
You come to Dictionary.com to find the meaning of a particular word. Okay, so sometimes you come to check the spelling, or the correct usage, or to find a suitable synonym. Here’s a project that focuses on the reverse: what if you had a list of words that you intended to use regularly, infallibly, and until they became common usage among your circle of friends, family and acquaintances?
Often, students talk about wanting to expand their vocabulary with rich synonyms, but also worry about misusing a less-often used word. We say practice makes perfect. Check out the Word Warrior selection below and start incorporating some of these ten dollar words into your daily speech. Want to practice in the comments below? We eagerly await your samples.
For more information on the Word Warriors project, click here.
After marking my students’ tests today I am going to take draconian measures… (Claudia, EFL teacher, Italy)
Me again… Some of my students’ knowledge of English is evanescent… it seems to be there one moment and it’s gone the next.
I don’t think “draconian’, ‘paroxysm’, ’schadenfreude’ and ’skullduggery’ are neglected.
This article is draconian.
I totally use the word paroxysm all the time. Bringing it back!
Um, I may be wrong, but isn’t “Schadenfreude” actually a German loanword? How about we replace “Schadenfreude” with something like “Tergiversate” and I’ll be totally on board.
Skullduggery is my favourite word, and it shall never fall into obscurity as long as I’m alive.
Hornswoggle is linked to the Ossify page and Draconian is linked to the Concupiscence page, I’ve having a Paroxysm over this mistake.
I have a paroxysm of concupiscence and wish to ossify a draconian.
(Also, your links are all messed up.)
i don’t abuse the word skulduggery, but i do read the book series Skulduggery Pleasant
although i do tend to use skulduggeries when trying to get what i want
I use and have heard the word “droconian” before. Also, I come to this website to learn words using the thesaurus, nearby words, word picks and the word of the day.
I feel badly that I have so many opportunities to use ’schadenfreude.’ It makes me sound like I am a terrible person.
I use most of these words often, as do my classmates. I don’t think most of these are neglected at all.
How could one have a discussion about government without all those words?
The only time I’ve seen “concupiscence” used, it was as an adjective in Wallace Stevens’ “The Emperor of Ice Cream” where he writes of “concupiscent curds.”
Some of these words I have never heard of before, but I use words similar to them. Do that count as reviving them? (BTW yay, today is my 10th bday! WOOT!)
Hey, is this site american or something? Where I live, it’s 5:41 pm!
( of course I am Canadian and proud!)
I actually use the word penury on a regular basis. When I retired my pension was much less than my salary had been. I needed to reduce expenses drastically. I tried not to spend money! Hence, I ate no fast food or dined in restaurants. I discovered vegetables. I retired at about 130 pounds. I am now 85 pounds lighter having gone on a penury diet!
Schadenfreude is my favorite! I think there are many words that need to be added into our vocabulary on a basic and daily basis.
and german loanwords are perfectly okay <3
What a happy coincidence! I came here to look up the meaning of the word “concupiscence” because it’s in the book I’m reading (The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas). Then I decided to check out Hot Word because I think it’s one of the most interesting blogs around, and here is the word in the most recent entry!
Evanescent is the writer of this article
yes, it’s american
why are you on this, just a quick question?
and no, none of you out there know me
Wow. Isn’t Skullduggery an island on Poptropica? TEEHEE! -.-”
draconian shouldn’t be on the list
Skullduggery has been a part of my vocab for quite some time! I LOVE that word! lol I’m totally on board for bringing more words back into rotation? However, I’m much more interested in people know that contractions DO still exist! Your vs. You’re… And, Breathe vs. Breath?… Not the same thing. Not interchangeable. #IJS (^_^)
i dont know what half of these words mean!
i love skullduggery on poptropica!
My favorite is not on the list: chthonic. 4 consonants in a row. Beat that!
Wow I feel dumb, you see I only heard of two of these words, Draconian and Evanescent. I guess I don’t really mind living without the others, they are a bit strange to me, anyhow. I do like the work pulchritudinous though!
Wow…so may neglected words…tsk tsk tsk…shame!
My favorite word has always been penultimate, & I relish every opportunity to use it.
When the girl had a paroxysm she broke th vase.
I’ve heard of “Draconian”
I actually say some of these words…I feel obscenely proud of myself right now ; )
I should add that the reason I know what “evanescent” means is because of the band Evanescence. And people think goth bands are a bad influence. ; )
I think “indubitably” should be on here. Its such a wonderful word, yet no one uses it anymore!
And another word on here should be “thrice.” I used it at work yesterday and my boss corrected me! She didn’t think it was actually a word.
As for the 10 words on here, I’ve never heard of most of them. Which goes to show that they are neglected, if a Gen Y’er doesn’t know them.
In order for men to be thoughtful and perceptive, they must overcome their concupiscence for the female entity.
DISCOMBOBULATE!!! it needs to be on this list!!! its like my theme word!
I don’t know that I’d pick these ten words as particularly neglected yet worthwhile. Many of them are quite familiar to me (draconian, penurious, paroxysm…), a couple are retro-slangy, and Schadenfreude’s linguistic “adoption” has already been discussed. Just take this post and the Word Warriors’ campaign as general encouragement to enrich your vocabulary beyond “OMG LM*O”.
BTW, @Cathy — I’ve always said I DON’T agree with Hercule Poirot: roughly, “Me, I do not believe so much in this _coincidence_.” Coincidence is a fascinatingly real phenomenon. Just don’t let it turn you into a conspiracy theorist!
I like it just bcs. of comfort in searching vocabs
I’m not sure I need to hear the word “sibilance” more often, but I’d like to hear more hissing. People only boo nowadays.
Correct me if I am wrong- but isn’t the word for ‘thrown out/replaced’ _discarded_ and not disGarded? I have never seen the word disgarded…(disREgarded, yes)
MEEEE!!!! your comment is obscure.
When you say “its like my theme word!” perhaps you mean “It is my leitmotif.”?
Nice one!! I was not knowing that English language has such words as well!!And many of are friend who have commented above were actually knowing them!!
But I am extremely glad to know these unpopular words!!
My vote is for ‘evert’, which means ‘to turn inside out’. This would be such a useful and succinct word if only it were more generally known.
I think the words ‘HITHERTO and HARPY’ should also be included in this list!!As they are very normal words but then also used very seldom!!
I think we can credit “Avenue Q” for reviving ’schadenfreude’ some time ago.
“Disgarded in the first paragraph is not a word. I think you meant “discarded”.
Nah, don’t feel bad…Schadenfreude is awesome.
Our school systems are to blame for the dearth of these words in everyday use. Teachers encourage pupils to keep it simple and prefer the five-letter synonyms. My argument has always been: if these words exist why shun them? I then realised that these teachers do not know these words themselves!!
My own favorite neglected word is ‘fulsome’. Modern consumerist culture provides so many opportunities for its use!
Really folks, you should read a bit more. These are pretty standard words IMHO and not under-used; I would wager that each appears weekly in any British broadsheet newspaper.
And @Dale: how about rhythm (and that was after about 3 seconds thought … )
Matthew Koth was here 6/1/11
10 words, only 6 links and Skullduggery’s definition points to Skulduggery…
Way to drop the ball dictionary.com
@ dale 4 consonants in a row
How about Wordsmith? Blacksmith?
I love the sound of ’sibilance’ – so onomatopoetic!
I think “dagnabit” should come back into use as a milder-than-usual cuss word.
Schadenfreude is totally swiped from German, but since I don’t know of an English word that means “to delight or take pleasure in someone else’s misfortune or pain” I have to use it all the time to describe reality TV shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.
Uh, Gifterfourthgrader, if it’s 5:41 where you live in Canada, it’s probably 2:41 somewhere in Canada, too. Say, in Nova Scotia? Or somewhere in eastern Ontario?
Just about a week ago, I accused a friend of aggravated muggery, skullduggery, and unrepentant chili making. A bystander exclaimed in mock horror about environmental pollution. The culprit replied that he hasn’t dug any skulls in years, though he was guilty of chili manufacture.
Heck, I love science fiction conventions, don’t you?
I like many of the words listed, but my all time favorite is one that I believe deserves greater use in our culture of politics, organized religion and commercialism. The word is – Shibboleth
Fighting with Pens and Pencils — often with the misplaced point. — Mrs. Malaprop has taught us well — don’t get your nose out of joint. Oui? con’t. J.J.Ruosseau.
I’d add glub, as in the sound of the average american vocabulary going down the tubes; glub glub glub.
We are the clan of dictionary people. Alas! Woe.
Thomas Jefferson would be so… atrabilious.
These words were 8th grade vocabulary when I was a lad and 4th grade vocabulary when John Hancock was a lad.
So “Gen Y’ers” don’t wait for your baccalaureate to learn what you’re founding fathers learned at their kitchen tables on the family farm. Pick up a Dictionary.com and browse. It’s good food for thought. Got Words.
I could make a really inappropriate joke about concupiscence causing ossification here…
But I won’t. I fear it would induce a paroxysm, and while I would enjoy schadenfreude at someone’s repulsion, I fear my welcome would be evanescent.
This is a very interesting article…. I just wish the links weren’t messed up. FIX IT!!!
My concupiscence for the love of my life grows everyday…
if anything it is overused and seeing it on your list sent me into a paroxysm of ranting much to the botheration of my fellow cube drones
The Great Depression was a Penurious time, but it had a common side effect for those who experienced that period of time. A penurious state of mind developed that lasted a lifetime for many and no matter how fiscally stable some of these folks became, there remained an over riding fear of not having enough. In this context, to call them stingy may be a bit harsh.
This must be a USA thing, because pretty much everytime the UK government passes a new law most of our newspapers call it draconian
Gollum’s skullduggery led him to a bad end.
I consider myself somewhat of a wordsmith; at least I like to puts some color in things I write. I thought I was familiar with this list of words, but decided to click on them to make sure. No problem with the links for “concupiscence” and “paroxysm”. But click on “draconian” and you are taken to “evanescent”. The other six words are also paired so that clicking on the first takes you to the next one. Why the skullduggery? Why not just include a simple definition for each one?
Why would you want to replace ‘Schadenfreude’ with ‘tergiversate’? Am I missing something here? They mean entirely different things:
to ‘tergiversate’ is ‘to act evasively’ or even ‘to be a renegade’, whereas ‘Schadenfreude’ means ‘being glad at (or even laughing) at the misfortunes of others’.
I hope this was only an evanescent paroxysm of inattention. I am quite discombobulated!
I used ossify in a short story prior to reading this list, and y’all are correct, no one knew what the hell it meant.
his concupiscence for skullduggery made evident his schadenfreude, throwing her into an evanescent paroxysm as this realization ossified her old passion.
I have heard discombobulate before.
these words are too old and only good to use for people who are 500 years old; they really needs to be forgotten. let’s move on people, we are now living in modern times. and also note that languages evolve too that’s why we don’t use those words anymore.
I like the word “pulchritudinous too!! It means pretty in case your wondering.
I live in Germany. The only people that I hear saying “Schadenfreude” are the expat Brits and Americans that live here (but they all mispronounce it, by excluding the final “e”). It is not a common word in German.
What is undeserved mean , and what is deserved mean today ?
I thought that from all schools teachers taught that undeserved means
not deserved , and deserved means deserve or you deserve this as it is today. Two different biblical scriptures are different and not the same.
One from Jehovah witnesses and one from a The Church of Christ.
Nobody uses the words as described above that were listed from
Wayne State University. Due to the facts that none of my collegues uses
any of the term words for educational purposes.
It’s not mandetory to use any of the listed topics unless any of you want to
become a writer, and put to the use of it.
I’ve always liked the word amongst. It sounds like a word from another century altho it’s used regularly in England today.
I’ve never used to say: Concuiscence, Draconian, Evanescent, Hornswoggle, Ossify, Paroxysm, Penurious,
Schadenfreude, Sibilance, Skullduggery unless If I’m going to learn a new
language to go somewhere for that purpose. But if it is from a different
country, I would go to that country that would use it alot. But If I’m here in
California studying and sharing wonderful ideas, I would not need to use neglected words to my friends, neighbors, and to those who I don’t know.
I just need to be smart and speak smart. so be it .
I hear “schadenfreude” at least once a week and often much more often than that. I recommend its removal from this list and “iconoclast” as a replacement.
Unless you count Y as a vowel, how about rhythm ?
I’m in seventh grade and I’ve heard or used half of these words.
My favorites are sesquipedalian, procrustean, stygian,yim and yang.
Bethany; How is this article possibly draconian? Just a joke? Hard to tell. Don’t know? DON’T say!
Dale; Try “strengths.” 5 continuous consonants.
BookBeater and Kat; from Dee; It’s YOUR founding fathers, not you’re, and, in case YOU’RE wondering, not your.
Wrasfish; It gets earlier the farther west you go, not east. 4thgrader is probably in Ontario, but it’s 2:41 in British Columbia.
Margaret; I hope you retired at 230. If it was at 130 and you lost 85, we’ll be looking up anorexic.
my favorite is concuiscence.(; D)
I like the idea of reviving words that add a certain flavor to the language that simpler words can not convey. Some of the choices are a bit perplexing, however. I find it hard to believe that “schadenfreude” is a dying word since it has no genuine synonyms. “Hornswoggle” is another example of a word that perhaps does not need to be on the list. Although I enjoy it for it’s colorful nature, there are many equally colorful exact synonyms in the language (take hoodwink, flimflam, bamboozle for example). Why include one of these and not the rest? I don’t feel that “hornswoggle” is differentiated well enough from the others to give it its own specific, nuanced meaning.
Paroxysm, on the other hand, is an example of a word that warrants a spot on the list. It has a few specific meanings and, while it does have synonyms, it does not have any synonyms that exactly convey the same emotion.
I like the word “Shibboleth” The West Wing did a whole episode to that one word. Then again, words like skullduggery and draconian are used quiet often, the other words..hmm..might have to start using them..
Quit trying to hornswaggle me, I’ve had enough of your skullduggery!
I’m about to have a paroxysm; your heart has ossified against me so!
My concupisence toward my husband will never be evanescent.
I will churva the churvalens…
Concupiscence is a quality I enjoy in people but savor in women.
@ Dee /co Archon
I had intended to say something else then dropped the pencil in editing.
A friend said during the Winter that I looked “Zaftig”!Very polite way of saying I looked “puffy”with all my layers! Good word….Zaftig!
Just so you know, “disgarded” is not a word according to dictionary.com yet the writer of this article used it in the first paragraph. What kind of skullduggery is that? The writers of these blogs need to take more draconian measures to ensure the proper use of the vocabulary, grammar, and spelling. I mean, after all, this is a dictionary website and not a mathematics one. Can I get an amen?
whats a dictionary
Everybody can open a dictionary, pick out a list of ten-dollar words, and start reviving them.
I actually use the words skullduggery, ossify and hornswoggle all the time! There was a cat who began to ossify after turning ten, he would hornswoggle all the other cats out of their food by using a combination of skullduggery and hocus pocus! He was a very naughty cat!
People totally neglect “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. It’s not like you hear that term every day! Why do they neglect it? Can I have an answer? Checking back soon!
And I hear most of those words occasionally. Not rarely! Would you care to put “stranger” words in, ones you don’t hear every day? I love words, and would care to learn a few every day! After all – life is for learning! Give me a reply! Checking back soon!
but awesome site?
The links are messed up…
NB. What’s wrong with keeping a good old-fashioned dictionary by your computer then you can check the etymologies and words in tandem with the blog? Great fun most days is this blog – with the comments often leaving me in stitches! (my take: Schadenfreude and Draconian are both overused; but good necessary words–and the English language has been ’stealing’ words from all over Europe, and then the world, ever since the Angles and Saxons washed up on the shores of Britain…(very much liked the comment on the Great Depression–shows the shades of meaning of two similar words…and whatever school the seventh grad3er is going to needs to be held up as beacon for the rest of the USA!
These are all fine examples of sesquipedalian grandiloquence, but there are shorter words we should be promoting, two of my favorites being MULCT and LIMN. We should also be delving into Shakespeare, as he used (or made up) some wonderful words we should be keeping.
Wow…..what an intelligent group of readers. I am proud to be associated with all of you! I myself never use these words, but will start to do so today!
AJ from Chicago
I need a certain amount of concupiscence before I can ask a woman out for a date
The most neglected words in the English language are “Do as you would be done by”!
Why is that most (if not all) of the underused words here are words that directly or indirectly tend to describe things unpleasant or negative? There seems to be a general drift in our culture to be more excited about articulately refuting someone, “telling it like it is” or discussing the melancholy than there is to encouraging, advocating, and articulating the beautiful. It seems to be that a good deal of contemporary poetry tends toward the former.
the links are messed up but the words are really cool. I’m going to start using them
How about some other loan words, in addition to SCHADENFREUDE, which has a somewhat nasty connotation:
- FAHRVERGNUEGEN, the pleasure to drive, could be one of them,
- WANDERLUST, the pleasure to hike, another and, best of all,
- SCHWARZWAELDER KIRSCHTORTE, Black Forest Cake.
the words are pretty interesting and i need to write them down so I remember
Mendacity (i.e. lying)
Okay, I just saw Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake but what a great word for Brick to use when he tells Big Daddy he is disgusted with the mendacity in the world.
Oh you Hampshire people are all the same
Aflame with concupiscence, the penurious youth was yet unable to purchase the engagement ring. Could he hornswoggle his paramour with a faux bijou? No: her response would be draconian. How about skullduggery? Caught at the jewelry store, his frustration erupted in a paroxysm of sibilant rage, while the jeweler’s schadenfreude at his apprehension was plainly evident. But all emotions are evanescent; concupiscence and rage subsided, leaving behind a mood that ossified into grim despair.
While the official origin of the word is yet to be determined sailors and seamen believe that it is a nautical term. A horn for nautical use is a land mass that extends as a point into the sea that must be sailed around (e.g. Cape Horn). Swoggle is a lost word that meant to make a navigation mistake.
Thus Hornswoggle is to fail to clear a horn because of a navigation mistake.
The term is still used in this context the nautical communities of both the US & the UK.
Like most nautical words that become part of the common lexicon it is believed that it was used on land by sailors to mean what your definition says. Now here is a mystery the project should solve.
Going away somewhere romantic gives a feeling of concupiscence like no other.
I’ve heard a few of these before, I love using obscure words to perplex my colleagues with my plethura of prolix phrases. =P
Margaret, so you weigh 45 lbs?
Wow, two weeks after I read an article begging people to please stop overusing “draconian,” I find it on a list of neglected words. I have to agree with the first article, though– “draconian” is way, way too overused, especially in politics. Common usage would have it be a scaremongering way to say “bad because [X] doesn’t agree with our political ideology.” The only thing that’s being neglected is the original meaning: very few so-called draconian measures or policies actually involve anything remotely analogous to a death sentence.
“Schadenfreude” is similarly out of danger, I think, as is “sibilance” and forms thereof.
Also agree with Thermogimp about “hornswoggle.” It’s a cute-sounding word, but not unique or really necessary.
C’mon, guys. What about words like “nacreous,” “diaphanous,” “squamous,” “stentorian,” “lunula” and “vituperation”?
Amen! Nice catch on “disgarded.” I used to notice those all the time, but, living with a wife and daughter, both afflicted with dyslexia (and dysphonia, they’re genetically transferred), I’ve been forced to learn to read from context.
One of my favorite things to bitch about, is poseurs, especially paid writers, who wish to use eight dollar words to seem distinguished, but won’t use an eight dollar dictionary to ensure that they do so correctly. I was told at a recent production meeting that it was a MUTE point.
These words are completely stupid. lust, delight in anothers misfortune, trickery, and violence? are you guys all f***cked up? usualy you display words that inspire you. whoever wrote this needs to be put down like a sick dog.
and claudia. it’s not the kids who fail your class, its the teacher who fails to inspire.
Yesterday, I used ‘Draconian’ in a Facebook post describing the TSA’s practices.
Yeah good thought. But skulduggery , mmmm. Has anyone read skulldugery pleasant?
Thanks for the laughs, everyone! I hardly ever use this site, but it’s clear from reading the comments that we’re a great bunch of like-minded people here! Oh, and: AMEN!
the jet son
I like pulchritudes.
I just saw a dog driving a motorcycle!
I would like to see “vice” added to the list; the form that means “in lieu of”.
The most neglected English word of all time is HONESTY… in different views that is… :p
Two more words for the list:
( I am not going to bother to get the chemical compound name for tobacco mosaic virus)
Excellent. You are the first person on this site to use these words correctly. When a person reads a dictionary definition, s/he is not ready to use the corresponding word. For example, there are only a few classes of things which ossify, including some biological materials and also immaterial, temporal qualities, such as an emotion.
For those who disdain loan words,
for whatever reason, and who are pretentious, there is the English word “epicaricacy” from Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary. This word is a synonym of “schadenfreude” and comes from the Greek “epi” (upon) + “kara” (joy/grace) + kakon (bad/evil).
When I saw Schadenfreude I stood askance and akimbo.
Really…look at these words, no wonder they are neglected.
Atta-way fella. That’s the attitude we like to see. Don’t learn big words and improve your mind, vocabulary and ability to communicate, just because you can. That would show interest, drive and commitment to your life and fututure. Don’t rise above the level of the flock of sheep you hang out with, they might think you’re intelligent, or even worse, educated. Don’t do it to please your parents, you’ll only disappoint them later. And definitely don’t do it to impress any colleges/universities or potential future employers, that way my kids have just that much better chance to get a good education and job. As long as you can say, “Yuh want fries with that?”, your unemployed friends on welfare can still visit you.
Oh concupiscence is a yummy word will remember this one
These are wonderful words, but one must remember that sesquipedalianism obfucscates pellucidity!
I think the least needed words in the English language are:
…Look how far I’ve gotten with my life without any of those things!
WXYZ) – As part of its initiative to draw attention to some of the English language’s most expressive – yet regrettably neglected – words, Wayne State University has released its annual list of the year’s top 10 words that deserve to be used more often.
Now in its third year, Wayne State’s Word Warriors series promotes words worthy of retrieval from the linguistic closet.
And now, the Word Warriors’ 2011 list of eminently useful words that should be brought back to enrich our language:
Sexual desire or longing; lust.
Too many political figures, drunk on power and the heady liquor of self-esteem, let concupiscence get the best of them.
“When her eyes met his she realized her own concupiscence would be the downfall of her attempts to stay virtuous in his presence.”
“The sufferer of a broken heart only need to be aware of the evanescent quality of pain to endure it.”
“The sufferer of a broken heart only need be aware of the evanescent quality of pain to endure it.”
(without the “to” included)
I want to give Kudos to Evan for writing the passage that used all of the words in such a way that was enjoyable to read. Thank you so much!
Favourite under-used word ……
Especially when used toward a group of 9-11 year old boys (Scouts, sports team etc) as in “Next one to make that mistake will be castigated”. That usually elicits (another good word) a fit of giggles.
Our knowledge of the word evanescent is evanescent.
Regarding the word “concupiscence”: I learned in my 11 (so far) years of Catholic schooling that this word refers to something entirely different than its somewhat dirty connotations in the link. Originally, it refers to a Catholic teaching about the innate tendency of man to sin due to his fall from a state of grace after the expulsion from Eden. In other words, it’s the annoying temptations to wrongdoing that come to us, and there’s nothing we can do about it, even if baptized and removed of original sin. Later on, when atheism began to run rampant, the definition was changed to eliminate the religous meanings, and it now means a tendency to do evil (although they do not see the irony in their concept of “evil”, not believing in such things of course).
In attempts to ossify in a draconian world, I learned to see right the evanescent skullduggery of the modern legal system.
We shouldn’t ossify the words we use because some words might become
Evanescent. Also we most be careful not to Schadenfreude.
I’m a 7th grader and I loved your article!!
“Schadenfreude” is the name of a song in the musical “Avenue Q.” Check it out.
What kind of skullduggery is going on here when “fortnight” isn’t on this list?
Absterse seems to be neglected, even spell-check thinks it’s wrong!
absterse seems to be neglected, even spell-check thinks it’s worng to schadenfreude is the name of song fortnight.
I see the word draconian every time I stumble across a political forum.
When seeing the lists I automatically thought of the band Evanescance, and the book series Skullduggery Pleasant. :L Is that just me, or did anyone else?
Please consider N-o-t using contractions. English speakers, particularly Americans, often do not make a different sound, when uttering “can” and “can’t” …and similar contractions. (I’m Amercian, btw). Also, please, can we find a hole-in-the-ground and bury the word “interesting.” Ugh.
The list needs to go on. Skullduggery is not neglected. i love the word
TERRIBLE sentence, but I got ‘em all! BTW, I use all of these commonly – just not in the same paragraph!
Upperclassmen balked at paroxysmal sibilance of ossifying school administrators’ efforts to impose draconian measures to lesson concupisence in dorms. “Social propriety is evanescent and irresponsible skullduggery: students need monitors to lessen sneaking around after curfew.” Students cried foul: “We’re being hornswoggled by a schadenfreude of now-joyless school officials casting moral aspersions on us, just to garner additional money for penurious department heads trying to stretch budgets!”
Surely the inclusion of schadenfreude is a mistake. It is not an English word. Period.
I like these blogs… only time I would use words like those would be when I’m writing, I probably will pronounce them wrong otherwise.
I go to school in The Draconian High. The head’s heart must be ossifying. With a heart of stone and bone she created the rule ‘if you forget one bit of equipment you get an immediate after school detention. Remember your planner-dairy, a calculator, sharpener, rubber, highlighter, pencil, pen, ruler’. Her schadenfreude-ness is evident.
I think Draconian is overused, at least in Europe. It tends to be applied to anything the opposition legislators, or the taxpayers, or the trade unions, etc., don’t particularly like. It can’t be threatened, as it gets about 13,500,000 hits on Google. Concupiscence, on the other hand, may be somewhat underused (only 974,000 references). I have to admit that “hornswoggle” is something I never knew was a verb. My wife has used it for the past 40 or so years as a noun, intended to refer to any foreign object that defies close identification (such as the small fly that just landed in my wine glass). All the other words are in what I would consider daily use.
I knew six out of the ten words. I am neither a professional writer nor a wordsmith. Then again, how many people with a lackluster vocabulary read the blo of a dictionary website?
Here are my suggestions for the list:
Great words. However, the hyperlinks to “hornswaggle” and “ossify” both re-direct to the ossify page.
*Hornswoggle, rather! : )
My co-workers seem to have a bad case of Schadenfreude.
We don’t want our language to ossify, so we need to keep it fresh and alive by using fresh words…
Wow… FAIL! These words are awesome. I know all of these words and my favorite is hornswoggle because I like the sound of of it.
Don’t you DARE to neglect these words!
I have a song on my ipod called “Draconian Crackdown” (Rasputina)
Wow, that’s actually interesting. I didn’t know that concupiscence was a real word, that’s really amazing!
These are some of the weirdest words ever,…. just like concupiscence or schadenfreude. I wish I knew these words earlier,….
Do you think these words should be added?
Yes, I think they should because…
No, I think they shouldn’t because…
“disgarded” (in the first paragraph)??? Did the author mean “discarded” or “disregarded”? I suppose there is a certain schadenfreude in seeing a typo on dictionary.com.
I just used draconian on a mean boy at school.(I am a 6th grader.)So fun making him look stupid!
allow me to point out that the reason Hornswoggle and Skullduggery arent used to often, especially among young students, is probably because they aren’t exactly what one would describe as “inherent beauty and agility.” just saying that thats the logic of a 12 yr old.
but if u want some uncommon synonyms, try:
misconstue– to misunderstand/misinturpret
sobriquet– a nickname/ pet name
kismet– destiny/fate (also my fav. word!)
equivocal– several awesome meanings (look it up your on a dictionary site!!)
facetious– not suppose to be taken literally/ humorous (including some other definitions… ive heard this word used before but not often enough!)
epitome– i cant actually rephrase the def. without quoting dictionary.com, but you know if it was used more im’m sure I’d have a better understanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ive written those words down in a notebook and try to use them as often as possible. not to be facetious, but farewell! may we meet(blog) again if kismet determins it.
i hope no one will misconstue that……………….
Schadenfreude runs in my family; if someone gets hurt, we’re thrown into a paroxysm of laughter so violent that we can’t assist the injured person until we have recovered. (Our laughter often causes the person to wonder if we are hornswoggling [?] them.)
I have a question… Is the word “indignation” used frequently?