Tiff’s Favourite Words

This page is dedicated to a list of words that I have come across in various places, being used as they should be and which, in my opinion, should be used more often. They have style. They have rhythm (and possibly also music). They have a crazy sort of mystery that doesn’t give any kind of hint as to what they actually mean.

Catenary – the curve that a hanging chain or rope makes if it is fastened at both ends.

Eleemosynary – relating to, or dependent on, charity; charitable.

Fipple – the insert in the mouthpiece of some wind instruments (called ‘fipple-flutes’). The recorder is one.

Googol – 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Googolplex – 1 followed by a googol of zeros.

Hackle a sort of small feathery plume on a military headdress.

Jillaroo – a female Australian agricultural apprentice. The male version (which is the original) is a jackaroo.

Oobleck – a non-Newtonian fluid.

Quire – 24 sheets of paper. Nothing to do with singing. Mostly.

Sesquipedalian – polysyllabic or long-winded.

Scrimshaw – carving on bone. People who do it are apparently scrimshanders.

Zaftig – full-figured. I was going to use an image for the link here, but… no. I looked at the options and… no. Somebody would undoubtedly get sacked, merely for having vocabulatory curiosity.

 

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