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Image / Editorial

15 Of The Most Unusual Words In The English Dictionary


by Jennifer McShane
31st Aug 2016
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Here at IMAGE, we like to consider ourselves fairly wordy; wordsmiths if you will. Each word, sentence we use online and in our magazines is carefully considered, curated (yes, we’ve even had proper arguments over the font type used for a particular word) by a team of skilled people?who love the written word. And yet, some of the most unusual?words in the English dictionary?had us stumped.

Compiled by the folks at Raconteur, the list includes?nouns, adjectives, and verbs ranging from the reasonably well-known ?flabbergast?, to the more obscure ?quincunx” ?and ?floccinaucinihilipilification? (an actual word, we swear).

Can you get all of the words listed below in a sentence? Go on, we dare you to try.

?Triskaidekaphobia

Noun:?Extreme superstition regarding the number thirteen

Quincunx

Noun:?An arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its centre, used for the five on a dice or playing card

Omnishambles

Noun:?A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterised by a string of blunders and miscalculations

Obdurate

Adjective:?Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action

Flabbergast

Verb:?Surprise someone greatly

Penumbra

Noun:?The partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object

Perspicacious

Adjective:?Having a ready insight into and understanding of things

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Noun:?The action or habit of estimating something as worthless

Persiflage

Noun:?Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter

Deliquescent

Adjective:?Becoming liquid, or having a tendency to become liquid

Velleity

Noun:?A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action

Limerence

Noun:?The state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person

Flimflam

Noun:?Nonsensical or insincere talk

Tintinnabulation

Noun:?A ringing or tinkling sound

Loquacious

Adjective:?Tending to talk a great deal; talkative

Via Raconteur?