Some Quick Vocabulary

More recipes will be up soon, but for now, here are some superb new words I’ve been making a list of.  Several of them are fantastic non-English words that I think are awesome and should be incorporated into our language, since we lack any appropriate, accurate, succinct English translation, and a few are just old and overlooked English terms.

  • kummerspeck (German)
    • excess weight gained due to emotional overeating
    • lit. “grief bacon”
  • verklempt / ferklempt / verklemmt (Yiddish, Old High German)
    • choked with emotion (positive or negative)
    • often, ‘choked with grief’, but could also be ‘choked with joy’
    • overwhelmed with emotion
  • fremdschamen (German)
    • external shame
    • vicarious embarrassment
    • Elizabeth was incapable of enjoying shows like The Office or most reality TV because they were so filled with embarrassing moments.  When the idiot boss would open his big fat mouth and everyone, in the show and in the audience, would physically cringe at his complete lack of empathy, Elizabeth would quickly make an excuse to go to the bathroom and try to hide from her own fremdschamen.
  • schadenfreude (German) This is one that’s not really uncommon, I know, but it fits my theme so well!
    • feeling glee when recognizing the unfortunate plights of others
  • vorfreude
    • the intense, anticipative joy derived from imagining future pleasures
    • When I’m angry, tired, bored, exhausted, stressed, or otherwise unhappy at work, I take a few moments to think about my upcoming weekend plans, and enjoy a moment of vorfreude to keep myself from snapping.
  • chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg (Native American, Nipmunk)
    • you fish on your side, I fish on my side, and no one fishes in the middle
    • shorter version, “the boundary lake”
    • as a proper noun, this refers to a specific lake in Massachusetts, which is officially named “Lake Chaubunagungamaug”
  • alieniloquent
    • speaking discursively or straying from one’s point
    • often going off on tangents, using circumlocution
  • mawkish
    • adjective for something that is sickly sweet
    • could be literal, like candy that’s 98% HFCS
    • could be figurative, like an overly romantic couple
  • furbelow (17th century English)
    • referring to aesthetic ruffles and flounces on clothing
  • quaintrelle (kwan-trell)
    • a woman who emphasizes a life of passion as expressed through her personal style, chosen pastimes, and cultivated demeanor
    • a female “dandy”
    • Most people who didn’t really know her called her a “hipster,” but she had a job and she paid her bills, and she had already been unconsciously cultivating an air of casual nonchalance in her everyday life when the same look of carelessness started to be adopted by youth culture.  If one had a desire to be accurate, though, they would claim she was more quaintrelle than hipster – she loved jazz and impressionist watercolors with genuine interest rather than aloof, ‘cool & fashionable’ people with approximate knowledge.
  • rantipole
    • a wild, romping young person
    • wild, roving, rakish
    • His new girlfriend turned out to be a rantipole of the most unsettling kind.  It’s one thing to meet someone who is naturally joyous and excitable; it’s another thing entirely to meet someone who swaggers around as though they’re better than you are, and the rage begins to boil when the person tries to make you believe it. 

VOCAB: Philosophical / Abstract

Here are some really interesting words to describe abstract, hard-to-define concepts.  Several of them are very introspective, and I like them all because I’d experienced them but not known how to describe the emotion.  Yay for precision terminology!!! 😀

  • Metanoia
    • The journey of changing one’s mind, heart, or self
  • Videnda
    • Things that should be seen or visited
    • lit. “what is to be observed”
    • For example, everyone should at some point be out in the middle of the ocean with no land visible on any horizon, or seing the Taj Mahal and the Pyramids of Giza, or the Aurora
    • If you spend all your time inside, you’ll never experience the videnda that makes one realize how incredible life really is. 
  • Yūgen  (Japanese; not an English term… yet.  We are a language known for stealing words 🙂 )
    • An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and mysterious for words.
    • A profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe and the sad beauty of human suffering.
    • Yūgen suggests things beyond what can be said, but it is not an allusion to another world – it is about this world, this experience.  All these are portals to yūgen: “To watch the sun sink behind a flower-clad hill.  To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return.  To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands.  To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds, and the subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo.”
  • Gnossienne   (taken directly from the French; naw-see-enn)
    • A moment of awareness, signified by the acknowledgement that no matter how close you feel you are to another person, they will always have their own separate, private life of which you will never be entirely privy.
    • The knowledge/realization that you will never truly know another person, ultimately because you are not them.
    • Phillip was struck by the heavy weight of gnossienne from an early age, and never truly trusted other people.
  • Sonder
    • The profound, individual realization that each person you meet is living their own life, that each person has their own world filled with personal worries, plans, pains, pleasures, ambitions, routines, etc. – the same as yourself, in a sense, but also as intricate and different as could be imagined.
    • The idea that there are millions of stories happening all at once, all around each other, oblivious and contained from one another.
    • The idea that YOU, with all of your importance of being the star in your own personal play, aren’t really that important at all, in the grand scheme of things, and more often than not you appear as nothing more than an overlooked extra sipping coffee or walking across the road in the background of all the separate, equally precious inner productions of strangers.
    • If you want to get through life without bruising, here’s what you need to do – Don’t read books; you might learn and understand new things.  Don’t listen to music; you might become aware of sonder and seek connections with other people.  Don’t speak to anyone, ever.  Don’t leave your house; don’t leave your bed.  Don’t live. 
  • Qualia
    • This term is used to represent the subjective quality of the individual conscious experience.
    • lit. “what sort” or “what kind”
    • “a term used to describe the things that could not be more familiar to each of us”
    • Qualia is the perception of our world – what pain feels like, what color looks like, how things smell.  More specifically, qualia is the very nature of how experience the world might not, due to the limits of language and brain chemistry, ever truly be explained or understood by people third party to what is happening in our own intimate minds.  How you see the color red might not be how I see the color red.  We’ll never know.  We could both agree on a word for what is known to be “red,” understand each other’s language, and go about our days in mutual logical understanding – but the fact that there is no possible way for us to determine just exactly how a red apple is perceived in my head means that you will never know if the color that you think is “red” is what my brain thinks is “red.”
    • The things that seem so mindlessly basic to us as human beings – emotion, pain, pleasure, sight, smell, though – are actually individual interpretations of how we interact with our world.  Language makes us feel close and provides a sense of community as a result of understanding one another, but even for all our words and ways of phrasing an idea, we cannot make a blind person understand the color “red.”
    • Even worse, just because you are sure you “love” someone who mutually cares for you doesn’t mean they “love” you back – or even that what you recognize and perceive as “love” is the same sensation and emotion that the other person recognizes to be “love.”
    • It’s so important for human beings to feel united in togetherness, similarity.  It’s so subconsciously agreed upon in importance that there are many who cannot and will not believe how they individually experience the qualia of their world is not the very same experience happening in another person.  This is what causes the ‘disbelief’ of natural disorders like autism.  Not to say that autistics are ‘wrong’ or even truly ‘disordered’ – they are merely built differently, and their reception of qualia in their worlds is different.  But the general unease of the layman to allow himself to be taught the truth that not all human beings’ brains react to their environment in the same way as his is what bolsters the conclusion that anything not matching up with the accepted ‘norm’ of how to react is ‘wrong’ or just cannot exist. 

And last but not least, the weirdest/funniest one…

  • Resistentialism
    • The theory that inanimate objects demonstrate hostile behavior toward us; “seemingly spiteful behavior manifested by inanimate objects”
    • Ex. If you ever get the feeling that the copier can sense when you’re tense, short of time, or need a document copied before an important meeting, and right then it decides to ‘take a break’… or searching for keys when you’re late for work, or a ball that stays in the yard right up until there’s a car coming down the road…
    • “Resistentialism has long been used in our family to explain the inexplicable:  why light switches, fixed in place in daylight hours, elude groping hands in the darkness.  Why shoestrings break when we’re in a hurry.  … The explanation for these and many more daily occurrences is that there is no such thing as an inanimate object.  Seemingly inanimate objects actually resist those they are intended to serve. “
    • Sidenote: the term was coined by a humorist, Paul Jennings, as a spoof of existentialism in general, but it’s still a useful word when those ‘coincidences’ occur in everyday life. 
    • “A convenient point of departure is provided by the famous Clark-Trimble experiments of 1935. Clark-Trimble was not primarily a physicist, and his great discovery of the Graduated Hostility of Things was made almost accidentally. During some research into the relation between periods of the day and human bad temper, Clark-Trimble, a leading Cambridge psychologist, came to the conclusion that low human dynamics in the early morning could not sufficiently explain the apparent hostility of Things at the breakfast table – the way honey gets between the fingers, the unfoldability of news-papers, etc.

      In the experiments which finally confirmed him in this view, and which he demonstrated before the Royal Society in London, Clark-Trimble arranged four hundred pieces of carpet in ascending degrees of quality, from coarse matting to priceless Chinese silk. Pieces of toast and marmalade, graded, weighed, and measured, were then dropped on each piece of carpet, and the marmalade-downwards incidence was statistically analyzed. The toast fell right-side-up every time on the cheap carpet, except when the cheap carpet was screened from the rest (in which case the toast didn’t know that Clark-Trimble had other and better carpets), and it fell marmalade-downwards every time on the Chinese silk. Most remarkable of all, the marmalade-downwards incidence for the intermediate grades was found to vary exactly with the quality of carpet.The success of these experiments naturally switched Clark-Trimble’s attention to further research on resistentia, a fact which was directly responsible for the tragic and sudden end to his career when he trod on a garden rake at the Cambridge School of Agronomy. In the meantime, Noys and Crangenbacker had been doing some notable work in America. Noys carried out literally thousands of experiments, in which subjects of all ages and sexes, sitting in chairs of every conceivable kind, dropped various kinds of pencils. In only three cases did the pencil come to rest within easy reach. Crangenbacker’s work in the social-industrial field, on the relation of human willpower to specific problems such as whether a train or subway will stop with the door opposite you on a crowded platform, or whether there will be a mail box anywhere on your side of the street, was attracting much attention.”

Words I ALWAYS WANTED!

Ha-HA!  I found my list of some of the BEST words – descriptors for things that I didn’t realize had names (before I found these words, that is).

Yes, I have multiple Word documents of vocabulary …. everywhere.  Home computer, work computer, jump drive on keyring, handwritten notes in my “planner” when I find a word I don’t recognize in a book I’m reading and can’t look it up immediately, everywhere.  Eevveerryywwhheerree.

So here’s some GREAT words!!! 😀 😀 😀

  • Epeolatry
    • the worship of words
    • “This is something all writers, readers, or speakers can identify with.  It’s one of those words that describes a phenomenon we’ve all encountered, yet for some reason is almost never used.  Instead we use phrases like “the worship of words” or “obsession with words” when “epeolatry” would fit perfectly.  This is a concrete idea – devotion to the art of language.”
    • “Figuratively speaking, epeolatry can be playfully applied to philologists, linguists, or lexicographers.  The term is of significant satirical value, and is sometimes used in the denigration of popular religions or belief systems.”
    • Kyle’s epeolatry has gotten to the point where he’s un-friended people on Facebook for misspelling common words. 
  • Groak
    • To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them.
    • My dog is a world-class champion groaker. 
    • It’s hard to enjoy your meal when the guy opposite is groaking you the whole time. 
  • Snowbroth
    • Freshly-melted snow
    • alt. definition – Crystalline water ice high in the atmosphere that is a precursor to snow (but I’m obviously more likely to use the first definition)
    • Yesterday we woke up to a perfect carpet of white, but now it’s just snowbroth. 
  • Apricity 
    • The warmth of sun in winter
    • The dichotomous sensation of feeling hot and cold at the same time
    • Even in the darkest December, you sometimes get a moment of beautiful apricity. 
    • In winter, I like to roll my car windows down so the cold air blasts my face, while cranking the heater to max and blowing it on my feet, so I can enjoy the sensation of apricity even if the sun isn’t out.   (Sidenote – this is a true statement by me.  I did this before I knew the word “apricity” and MAN, was I excited when I learned there was a technical term for it!!!)
  • Apricate
    • To spend time basking in the sunshine
    • Most cats are fond of apricating. 
  • Sussuration
    • A very quiet noise; a whisper or soft murmur
    • I sat on the porch and listened to the sussuration of the breeze through the reeds
    • The soft susurrus of conversation ended when the theater lights dimmed. 
    • Sidenote – this book has appeared in Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men, and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.  Not that anyone cares, it’s just something I’ve noticed.  I first learned it from Wee Free Men, actually, and then was delighted to come across it in The Graveyard Book.
  • Abditory
    • A hiding place or concealed location for storing things
    • The white family allowed runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad to hide from slave-catchers in their abditory under the stairs.
    • When Marie thought she heard a burglar, she quickly placed her valuables in the abditory.
    • After his death, we opened his abditory only to find a single, unsealed note which simply read, “buy more fish,” leaving us with a great many questions. 
  • Kyoodle   (ke-Yoo-del)
    • noun – a noisy, yapping dog
    • verb – making the noises associated with a yappy dog
    • I couldn’t sleep last night because the neighbor’s awful kyoodle wouldn’t shut up!
    • I couldn’t sleep last night because Rover’s awful kyoodling kept me awake!
  • Balter
    • To dance or treat clumsily
    • To dance artlessly, without practiced form or skill, but always with great enjoyment / enthusiasm
    • During the summer, the children were usually barefoot and slightly sunburnt, and they baltered everywhere they went. 
    • I like playing video games with my friend Mike, but I can’t stand to go clubbing with him because his baltering is so embarrassing to watch. 
  • Cacospectamania
    • The obsession with staring at something which is repulsive
    • Ex: When I broke my arm and could see my own bone, it was horribly gross, but I couldn’t look away. 
    • Ex #2 – the internet
  • Cavish
    • The sound of many birds chirping together, or many people chatting at once (louder than a sussuration)
  • Concilliabule
    • A secret meeting of people who are hatching a plot
  • Abderian
    • Given to incessant or idiotic laughter
  • Accubitus
    • Sharing a bed for sleeping only (this word needs to be more common so we can all stop saying, “So did you just sleep together or did you sleep together?”)
  • Amphigory
    • A poem that seems profound but is really complete nonsense (oh lord, I wish I knew this word back in high school English class…..)
  • Subtopia
    • ‘monotonous urban sprawl’ with a very negative connotation
    • Coined in the 1950s to describe the urban sprawl around cities
    • Lit. “nowhere worth living”
  • Clinomania 
    • The excessive desire to remain in bed (This is a REAL WORD!  And here I thought I was just lazy… ha!  Can I call in sick with an acute case of clinomania?!)
  • Dysania
    • The state of having a rough time waking up in the morning; not wanting to get out of bed (often paired with clinomania, obviously)

Well, that’s not the end of my list (HAHAHA not even close) but I think I should give it a break for a while….

 

Vocabulary Review Time!!! :D

As a huge book-lover and proud sesquipedalian woman, I also have huge lists of “cool words” that I want to use more often, and SHARE with the WORLD (or at least the people willing to let me ramble about facultative parthenogenesis, etc.) so I think I’m going to make a new category and start logging the cool words I find on here, too.  Currently the only “category” is “recipe” but I’m adding “vocabulary” … now.  Done.

….. I’m not sure how I should break up the posts, though.  I shouldn’t do one word per post, should I?  I have too many words for that…

 

Regardless, let’s get started with a few miscellaneous terms… 😀

  • Crapulous
    • To feel ill because of excessive eating/drinking
    • Bleh.  After Thanksgiving dinner, I always feel crapulous.
  • Grumpish
    • Sullen.  An alternative to grumpy.
    • I’m sick and still have to go to school; I’m allowed to be grumpish.
  • Aporia             (ah-poor-e-a)
    • The feeling you have when your problems cannot be solved
    • An irresolvable internal contradiction in a text, argument, or theory
    • The expression of doubt
  • Mammothrept
    • A sullen, spoiled child (often brought up by an indulgent elder relative)
  • Wanweird
    • Misfortune; ill or unhappy fate
  • Echolalia
    • Habitual or pathological repetition of another’s remarks or recent speech
    • I’m certain my father never had any brain damage, but whenever he hears something funny, he immediately repeats the punchline that made him laugh.  I wonder if it’s just a weird, echolalic quirk of his personality, or if his mother ever dropped him on his head as an infant?
    • Ex. “Don’t touch me.” “Don’t touch me.” “Stop it.” “Stop it.” “Mommy, he keeps repeating me.” “Mommy, he keeps repeating me.” “STOP IT!” “STOP IT!”
  • Lugubrious
    • Excessively mournful
    • Eeyore is the epitome of lugubrious despair.
  • Jannock           (jann-NOK)
    • Pleasant, honest, straight-forward
    • No matter how squirrely he looks, trust me – Paul is an absolute jannock.
  • Postprandial
    • After a meal
    • Thanksgiving is here, which means significant preprandial expectation followed by months of postprandial regret.
  • Farouche          (fah-roo-sh)
    • Sullen, shy
    • “Antisocial and withdrawn” AND “Fierce and wildly passionate”
    • Exhibiting withdrawn temperament and shyness coupled with an air of cranky, often sullen fey charm
    • So, not someone who is timid, but someone who is refusing to be social and is angry about it, basically
    • He stared down into his party cup with a sullen sort of pouting grimace.  He was farouche and icily antisocial towards everyone that wished him a happy birthday.
  • Autovoxiphillia
    • Love of one’s own voice
  • Cockalorum
    • A person of exaggerated self-importance // conceited talk, swagger
    • A little man with an unduly high opinion of himself // boastful talk, braggadocio
    • A person who thinks they’re bigger than they really are
  • Autohagiographer
    • A person who speaks or writes in a smug way about their life and accomplishments (a cockalorum writing an autobiography)
    • An autobiography that overly flatters the subject
    • (Can also refer to an autobiography of an actual saint, but that’s rarer than narcissistic, truth-bending autobiographies)

By the way, the “phonetic” spellings are my own personal attempts at onomatopoeia-izing the pronunciations.   If you want to know for sure how it’s pronounced, use the magical tool at your fingertips called “the internet” and look it up.