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!’