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21 Days to A Bigger Vocabulary

21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 12

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Wednesday, 30 January 2008


pronunciation:  som-nil-uh-kwizm

definition:  speech uttered in one's sleep.

My husband often entertains me, and sometimes scares the wits out of me, with his impromptu somniloquies.  He startled me awake early one morning with a sharp, "Shh!" 

I jumped out of bed and cried, "What?" 

"Quiet!  I'm on the phone!" he mumbled in his sleep.

I climbed back into bed and decided to be nosey, "Who are you talking to?" 

"Just.  A.  Minute!" he whispered, "let me finish this call."

I was tired and afraid to provoke him by further interrupting his important "call," so I went back to sleep.

Perhaps you live with your own gifted somniloquist?


21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 11

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Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Pronunciation:  buh-tol-uh-jee

Definition:  Needless, wearisome repetition of words.

I was, like, you know, trying to come with, like a, like really, really good example of how, you know, you might, like, use this word.  I'm sure you, like, you know, know people who always, like, repeat everything they say.  Repeat it, you know, for no good reason, just to like, hear themselves repeat it.  Those people are, you know, just like, so battologically battological you just can't, you know, like stand it.

I don't know.  Just don't know.  Maybe you can, you know, come up with your own battologically battological example that illustrates and shows how battology can, like, be used in a sentence.

I'm worn out.




21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 10

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Thursday, 24 January 2008

Here are two fun words to add to your vacab cache:


pronunciation:  grood-uhlz (or, like oodles and noodles)

definition:  According to my trusty Balderdash cards, it means leftover food.  However, I've not been able to confirm that definition through any but the "urban" dictionary, so I guess it qualifies as slang.  I did find that there is a designer breed of dog called groodle which is a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.  There is also the spoodle and the labradoodle, if you're into designer dogs.  I've always called a cross-bred dog a "mutt;"  now, I feel like I should feed our own dog, Pumpkin, premium food. 

For our purposes, let's go with groodles as leftovers.

Which brings me to my next word: 


pronunciation:  ram-feez-uld

definition:  exhausted

I think these two words go perfectly together:

"What's for dinner, Mom?"
"Yes, groodles, I'm ramfeezled."



21 Days to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 9

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Friday, 18 January 2008
Is it time for another word?

How about this one:


Pronunciationsheesh, just like it's spelled.  Shall I give it to you slowly?  f l ee r.

DefinitionAccording to my Balderdash cards it means to sneer, leer, or jeer.  According to the dictionary, it's a mocking laugh or smirk.

When you might use this in a sentence:  "A better question is why would you choose to use fleer in a sentence," she spat, fleeringly, "when sneer, leer or jeer mean the same bloody thing.  You sound like you have a wadded cotton rope stuffed between your lips and gums.  Get away from me." 

Honestly, how do these words make it into the English lexicon?

21 Days, or 200, whatever it takes, to a Bigger Vocabulary - Day 8

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Monday, 14 January 2008

Today, you are invited to enjoy a pabulum of goodies sure to make any palaverist salivate.  We will feast our brains on anatomy-speak, á la Gooblink.  Following is a selection of words that put "names" to those parts of the body you hitherto articulated as "thingy," or "doohickey."

Like, that stringy muscle under the tongue which keeps it inside your mouth...most of us, anyway.  I don't think Gene Simmons was born with one.  That little flap is called a frenulum, pronounced fren-yoo-lum.

Or, have you ever wanted to warn a friend that she has a dried flake of something dangling just inside her nose off that skinny bone separating her nostrils?  And it's just fluttering there, with each inhale and exhale?  Well, that piece of cartilage is called a vomer, pronounced vawm-er.  Now you can say, "Ew, Sue, there's something hanging off the left side of your vomer."

How about that flesh covered protrusion between your face and your ear opening?  Sometimes if I have an itch deep inside my ear, I can rapidly depress that thingy with my forefinger and the itch goes away.  Only, from now on, I don't have to call it a thingy, because I know it is a tragus, pronounced tray-gus.

Now take a look at the palm-side of your hand.  See those deep lines at the wrist, caused by flexing your hand?  Those are called rasceta, pronounced ra-see-ta.

Okay, same hand.  Now look at the back of your hand with your fingers flexed.  There's what looks like a web between your index finger and your thumb, right?  That's called a purlicue, pronounced:  pur-lee-cue.

There you have it!  I'm stuffed, aren't you?  Now, go work up a sweat playing a lively game of Scrabble!


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