Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strange and funny English words part II

Godwottery (noun) [mass noun]
An affected quality of archaism, excessive fussiness, and sentimentality.

Gonzo (adjective)
Relating to or denoting journalism of an exaggerated, subjective, and fictionalized style.
Bizarre or crazy: the woman was either gonzo or stoned.

Goombah (noun)
An associate or accomplice, especially a senior member of a criminal gang.

Hemidemisemiquaver (noun)
A note with the time value of half a demisemiquaver, represented by a large dot with a four-hooked stem. Also called sixty-fourth note.

Hobbledehoy (noun)
A clumsy or awkward youth.
Awkward or clumsy: his hobbledehoy hands.

Hoosegow (noun)
A prison.

Hootenanny (noun) (plural hootenannies)
An informal gathering with folk music: we invited friends to a hootenanny in our backyard [as modifier]: hootenanny numbers.

Jackanapes (noun)
Dated a cheeky or impertinent person.
Archaic a tame monkey.

La-di-da (adjective)
Pretentious or snobbish in manner or speech: do I really sound like a la-di-da society lawyer?

Lickspittle (noun)
A person who behaves obsequiously to those in power: he is a lickspittle for the Establishment.

Logorrhea (noun) [mass noun]
A tendency to extreme loquacity.

Lollygag (verb)
(Lollygags, lollygagging, lollygagged)
Spend time aimlessly; idle: she goes to Arizona every January to lollygag in the sun.
[With adverbial of direction] dawdle: we’re lollygagging along.

Mugwump (noun)
A person who remains aloof or independent, especially from party politics.

Mumpsimus (noun)
A traditional custom or idea adhered to although shown to be unreasonable.
A person who obstinately adheres to old customs or ideas in spite of evidence that they are wrong or unreasonable.

Mungo (noun) [mass noun]
Cloth made from recycled woven or felted material.

Oxter (noun)
A person’s armpit.

Panjandrum (noun)
A person who has or claims to have a great deal of authority or influence: the greatest scientific panjandrum of the 19th century [as title]: the Great Panjandrum of this exercise is a management consultant.

Pettifogger (noun)
An inferior legal practitioner, especially one who deals with petty cases or employs dubious practices.

Pronk (verb)
(Of a springbok or other antelope) leap in the air with an arched back and stiff legs, typically as a form of display or when threatened: grysbok were pronking over tall tufts of grass.

Quean (noun)
An impudent or badly behaved girl or woman.
A prostitute.

Quire (noun)
Four sheets of paper or parchment folded to form eight leaves, as in medieval manuscripts.
Any collection of leaves one within another in a manuscript or book: the scribe numbered the quires of his manuscript as well as the leaves.
25 (formerly 24) sheets of paper; one twentieth of a ream: [as partitive]: (a quire of/quires of the package contained two quires of tracing paper.

Ratoon (noun)
A new shoot or sprout springing from the base of a crop plant, especially sugar cane, after cropping.
(Of sugar cane) produce ratoons.
[With object] cut down (a plant) to cause it to produce ratoons: (as adjective ratooned) ratooned plants produce a much earlier crop.

Salopettes (plural noun)
Trousers with a high waist and shoulder straps, typically made of a padded fabric and worn for skiing.

Skullduggery (noun) [mass noun]
Underhand, unscrupulous, or dishonest behaviour or activities: a firm that investigates commercial skulduggery.

Tatterdemalion (adjective)
Tattered or dilapidated.
A person in tattered clothing.

Troglodyte (noun)
(Especially in prehistoric times) a person who lived in a cave.
A hermit.
A person who is regarded as being deliberately ignorant or old-fashioned.

Valetudinarian (noun)
A person who is unduly anxious about their health.
A person suffering from poor health.
Showing undue concern about one’s health: the valetudinarian English
Suffering from poor health.

Vomitory (adjective)
Relating to or inducing vomiting.
(noun) (plural vomitories)
Another term for vomitorium.

Vomitorium (noun)
Each of a series of entrance or exit passages in an ancient Roman amphitheatre or theatre.
A place in which, according to popular misconception, the ancient Romans are supposed to have vomited during feasts to make room for more food.

Wabbit (adjective)
Exhausted or slightly unwell: I’m feeling a bit wabbit.

Winklepicker (noun)
A shoe with a long pointed toe, popular in the 1950s.

Yarborough (noun)
(In bridge or whist) a hand with no card above a nine.

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