Seven Interesting Words

I’m not sure if this falls directly into the category of seven quick takes, but oh well. My aunt Catherine gave me a most interesting book for Christmas entitled “A Word a Day: A Romp through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English” by Anu Garg. I’ll give a more thorough review in my next Week in Books post, but meanwhile here are my favorite seven words from the volume:

1. testudinate
Slow-moving, like a turtle (or like the lines at our Walmart, which is staffed with a disproportionate number of incompetent cashiers…)

2. aglet
The bit on the end of a shoelace or cord that helps get it through the eyelet and keeps it from getting frayed (I have wondered what that thingy was called for YEARS)

3. decerebrate
One who is devoid of intelligence or reason (it’s always good to throw a new pejorative term into heavy rotation now and then)

4. onychophagia
The habit of biting one’s nails (no, I didn’t keep last year’s resolution)

5. albedo
That white, spongy stuff inside a citrus fruit rind (another thing I’ve always needed a word for)

6. epenthesis
Adding an extra sound into a word (such as one of my pet peeves, saying “nuke-ya-ler” instead of “nuclear”)

7. mondigreen
A word or phrase resulting from mishearing a word or phrase (for example, Hannah’s description of grapefruit as “a nak-wire taste”)

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To read other people’s seven quick takes, pop over to Conversion Diary (and don’t be testudinate about it!)

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