An A-Z of Weird and Wonderful Words

[Krystyna King | Events Secretary]

Did you know there are now one million words available to us? Apparently though, a working vocabulary these days stands at 7,000 words. However, the majority cope with only half of this number. Researchers discovered fifty years ago the most popular words were gentleman and modesty. The words most used today are SEX and CELEBRITY.  Oh look at how much we’ve changed.

Over time words change their meanings such as ‘gay,’ and ‘bimbo’ and new words are constantly being invented or reintroduced. We use slang words and abbreviations as a common part of our communication. But have you ever wondered that if some of us can’t understand William Shakespeare now, then one day in a few hundred years, people may not be able to understand the way we conversed in the 21st century? It’s a scary thought.

So here is your A-Z of weird and wonderful words, to uncover those long lost gems. I dare you to use one once a day and see how many strange looks you get. Perhaps then we will no longer be lost for the right word, whatsitcalled, or thingamajig.


Abligurition- the spending of an unconscionable amount on food. This comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to spend freely and indulgently on luxuries.’

‘Everytime I look at my bank statement it all just says supermarkets and restaurants…’

Acrasia- the state of mind in which you act against your better judgment, lack of self control. From a Greek word meaning ‘no strength.’

Acroama- oral teachings heard only by close disciples, teachings that are not written down. From a Greek word meaning ‘anything heard.’

‘It’s basically when you don’t write down the most important part in a lecture.’


Borborygmus-long-winded word for a tummy rumble.

Brabble- to bicker, quibble, wrangle.


Blatherskite- someone who won’t stop talking utter rubbish.

‘We all know a Blatherskite…’


Carked- to be annoyed or alarmed

‘I am so Carked!’ I feel other stronger, censored words are usually used here.

Calamistrate- an infrequent verb meaning to ‘curl the hair.’ This word comes from the latin word for ‘curling-iron.’

‘Just off to calamistrate my hair.’ Weird.’

Callipygian- an adjective meaning ‘having shapely buttocks’ The term comes from Greek words meaning ‘beauty’ and ‘buttocks.’  ‘

What a compliment…right…?’


Dactylonomy- the science of counting on your fingers.

‘I’m a dactylonomist…Well at least it sounds fancy!’

Deipnophobia- a morbid fear of dinner parties. ‘

‘Yes. There is a phobia for just about anything.’

Deipnosophist- somebody who talks wisely over dinner.

‘I don’t know how this will go down if they’re eating McDonalds?’


Eustress- good stress, such as promotion or a new baby.

‘Who knew there was good stress?’

Echpraxia- the meaningless imitation of the movements of others, probably including the trick where you yawn and watch the movement make its way around the room.

‘Finally the word for making people unconsciously yawn! If only I could pronounce it…’


Fadoodle- means silliness or nonsense.

The word even sounds silly.

Festinate- to hurry, “it’s late, we need to festinate”.

I keep repeating this one, I think it sounds like an innuendo. Still isn’t ‘go’ a much shorter word to express your haste?’

Fudgel- To fudgel is an eighteenth-century term meaning “Pretending to work when you’re not actually doing anything at all.”

‘I’m going to start saying “Stop fudgelling” to all my friends in the LRC.’


Gymnologising -having an argument in the nude.

‘Yes there is even a word for this. I’m shocked too.’

Groak: to stare longingly.

‘Apparently this word is described as what dogs do if you have a sausage on your fork.’

Gubbertushed: having projecting teeth, bucktoothed.


Hedgehoggy -having a prickly nature, of a forbidding appearance or manner, leading to distaste.

‘A hedgehog can’t change it’s spikes!’

Honeyfuggle- to swindle, to cheat

Houghmagandy- sexual intercourse with a person one is not married to.


Igry- painfully embarrassed by someone else’s poor behaviour. It can also be used to describe someone else’s poor behaviour.

Perhaps this will make a come back to describe some people the morning after a night out?

Infucate- to use make up

Illecebrous- an outdated word meaning ‘attractive, alluring’. From a latin word meaning ‘to entice.’


Jentation- a rare word meaning ‘breakfast’. Also jenticulate is the verb, meaning ‘to breakfast.’

Jiffle- to fidget or shuffle.

Jocoserious- half jocular, half serious- blending jokes and serious matters. The noun is jocoseriosity.



Kalokagathia- nobility and goodness of character. From Greek words meaning ‘beautiful’ and ‘good.’

Karoshi- A Japanese term which means death caused by overwork or job-related exhuation.

‘Please look after your health while writing those essays…’

Kench- an obsolete word meaning ‘to laugh loudly’

‘Could this take over ‘LOL’?’


Limerence- the initial rush of falling in love; the state of being in love.

Luculence- an obsolete and rare adjective meaning ‘fineness, beauty,’ or ‘clearness, certainty’ From a Latin word meaning ‘Light.’


Methysis- a rare word meaning ‘addiction to drink’ or ‘habitual drunkenness.’

‘Not sure if going to the forum every week counts as ‘habitual drunkenness?’

Mouton enrage- literally ‘mad sheep.’ A term for an angry person who is usually calm.

‘Mad sheep? Wow.’


Ninnyhammer- a piffling fool, better known by its abbreviation ninny. ‘You’re a ninny.’

Nimfadoro- an effeminate fellow, especially one who is well dressed and popular with women.

Noncency- an obsolete word meaning ‘guilt.’ Something that is nocent is harmful or criminal.

‘I feel noncency for not studying…?’


Octothorpe- the telephone keypad symbol; ‘#’ also called hash or crosshatch.

‘This could change the world of Twitter; no hashtags but octothorpes? Maybe not.’

Omnifarious- an adjective meaning ‘dealing with all kinds of things’ or ‘of all kinds or forms’

‘…essays, classes, gym and friends and family and food-shopping and washing our own clothes…’

Onolatry- a very rare word meaning ‘the worship of donkeys or asses.’ Greek word.

‘Let this one just sink in for a minute. There is a word for worshipping donkeys.’


Persiflage- Slight mockery or banter

‘Haha calm down its only persiflage!’

Pavisande- to flaunt opulent or expensive clothing or jewels; an ‘Apparently its the Edwardian synonym for bling’

Peenge- to complain in a whining voice.


Quomodocunquizing- ‘making money in any way that you can.’

‘Or should also be known as student life’


Ramfeezled- exhausted by overwork, a synonym for the equally lovely word, forswunk.

‘Assignment season? Bet you’re ramfeezled!’

Rhathymia- the state of being cheerful, merry, and optimistic.

‘This is the feeling you have while writing the conclusion to your essay. The end is near!’


Scurryfunge- hurriedly tidying one’s house before the cleaner arrives.

‘Let’s not deny it- we’ve all scurryfunged’

Smellfungus- someone who always finds fault in things.

The least articulate word I’ve heard. Don’t be a smellfungus!

Spanghew–to cause a frog or toad to fly in the air.

‘Oh yeah, theres a word for that too because we all know how common it is…’

*No animals were harmed in the making of this article


Testudineous- slow

‘As in my computer is ridiculously testudineous, especially when i’ve got to do important work, like checking Facebook.’

Theoplasm- a uncommon word meaning ‘the stuff of which gods are made.’

Troke- ‘to fail, or to be unable to do something’ or ‘to deceive.’


Ultracrepidarian- giving opinions on a subject you know nothing about.

Uhtceare- means “waking up before dawn and not being able to get back to sleep because you’re worried about something.” People have been suffering from uhtceare for over a thousand years.

‘Study. Eat. Sleep? Repeat.’

Ubiquarian- a person who goes everywhere.

‘One for the travellers!’


Vappa- a rare word meaning ‘flat or sour wine’

‘That would be a sad day.’

Vagarious- meaning ‘erratic and unpredictable in behaviour or direction.’ The origin is a Latin verb meaning ‘to wander.’

Volacious- suitable for flying. Something that has the power of flight is volitorial. From a Latin word meaning ‘to fly.’


Wabbit- a Scottish word meaning ‘exhausted or slightly unwell.’

Winebibber– a person who habitually drinks a lot of alcohol

‘I wonder how many students are winebibbers?’


Xeno/a- Greek word meaning ‘Foreigner, stranger or guest’

Xenagogue- fancy word for tour guide

‘Think I’ll stick with saying tour guide-much easier!’

Xenization- the act of traveling as a stranger



‘Yabber dabber do!’

Yerd-hunger- an overwhelming desire for food

Yaply- an adverb meaning ‘eagerly, hungrily’.


Zamzodden: overcooked or stewed, eg. school dinners.

Zazzy: flashy; stylish

Zedonk: the offspring of a male zebra and a female donkey

‘If you haven’t seen one you’re missing out. So here’s a picture of one, just in case…’

#WeirdandWonderful #WeirdandWonderfulWords #Words

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