Epeolatry: worship of words

Adoxography elegant or refined writing that addresses a trivial or base subject. Good writing on a minor subject.

Carriwitchet - n. a pun or paradox; a riddling question (Can you still use body English when bowling in france?)

Pervicacious  - obstinate and unyielding


cacoethes - the urge to do something inadvisable

Pauciloquent:  If you are a person of few words, then this is the term for you. It refers to someone who doesn’t say much or who, when giving a speech, gives a very short one. 

Octothorpe -                                 

the hashtag symbol (#)         

Obelus -

 the division symbol (÷)



zemblanity: the inevitable discovery of what we would rather not know.- the inexorable discovery of bad  <<<things. Making unhappy, <<<unlucky discoveries <<<occurring by design.
-Unpleasant surprise

Kyphorrhinos:   a nose with a bump in it👃   |

Macrosmatic: having a good sense of smell👃

Apothegm - a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism (see Oscar Wilde in You Know What They Say for perfect examples)

Snellen chart — the standard eye exam chart.👀




Analphabetic - Having no alphabet

Inénarrable - (dated or literary) indescribable, inexpressible

Philodox - A person who is extremely fond of his or her own opinion, regardless whether it is right or wrong. The word is good for calling names without actually insulting a person.



a person who never laughs


 To offend or displease.


 species of wild ass   inhabiting the elevated     steppes of the Mongolian   Tartary in Central Asia


Ziggurat (right):

 Religious monument originating in Babylon and Assyria constructed as a truncated, stepped pyramid, rising in diminishing tiers, usually square or rectangular. 



Partially reconstructed facade and  access staircase of the Ziggurat of Ur, originally built by Ur-Nammu, circa 2100 BC


one who is constantly grinning



winding or circuitous



 a curving   circular area in   the mountains



Yex: to sob, to hiccup, to belch forth


Halophilous: tolerant of salt or salt-water

Gymnophoria: 🢁🢁🢁 the sensation that someone is mentally undressing you


The act of mentally undressing someone                                                  




 A feverish desire to undress


      Navel gazing







  one who nibbles on women's earlobes


smelly feet                        



 the scattering of crumbs left on one side of the plate, the dozen or so grains of rice sitting at the bottom of the bowl, the few drops remaining in the glass are not dregs nor leftovers - They are tittynopes.

Autexousious - exercising or possessing free will


  theory of the origin of stars


worship of stars

Archimage: (first recorded use 1553): Whenever you see archi, it relates to chief, head or master, while mage of course comes from magus and has the same route as magic. So archimage is a chief magician or a great wizard.                                                      



Oneiromancy: (also oneiroscopy) a type of magic, or mental ability, allowing the practioner to read the future and past of given subjects using dreams. The most skilled oneiromancers have endocrine glands that work differently from the normal person's, while rely on intoxicants.

(Right - man seeing into someone else's dreams)



Samuel Johnson (Left)

 (18 September 1709 – 13 December 1784), often called Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic, biographer, editor and 

lexicographer.  After nine years' effort, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language appeared in 1755, and was acclaimed as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship".  The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography calls him "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history"

Source for this bio and for more information re Samuel Johnson click

Samuel Johnson - Wikipedia


(Left} Leaf from Johnaon's First Edition A Dictionary of the English Language {1755}

(Left) Original 2-volume First Edition A Dictionary of the English Language {1755} with title page standing next to bound set.


The pre-eminent English dictionary was Samuel Johnson’s. It was published in 1755 and had taken nine years to complete. Its entries were unique in that Johnson used literary quotations to illustrate the meaning of a word. He often cited William Shakespeare, John Milton, and John Dryden. He also incorporated humor into his definitions. For the word “lexicographer”, for instance, universally understood to mean “an author or editor of a dictionary,” Johnson wrote this: “A harmless drudge who busies himself in tracing the origins and detailing the significance of words.” The work of this “harmless drudge” was most commonly used and most commonly imitated for over a hundred years until the completion of the Oxford English Dictionary.

The New Standard: Webster’s Dictionary

Samuel Johnson once said, “No man was ever great by imitation.” It appears Noah Webster took this maxim to heart as he undertook the writing of Webster’s American Dictionary of English Language (1828). Among his innovations was the inclusion of distinctively American vocabulary. He wrote an entry for “skunk” describing it as “in America, a fetid animal of the weasel kind,” and another for “hickory” whose etymology has Virginia Algonquian roots.

Noah Webster (right)

considered etymology so important he learned twenty-six languages in order to apply more insight to his research. Not only were some of Webster’s words and definitions without precedent but his spellings were, too.. He opted to simplify some spellings and to make changes in others to more accurately reflect their phonetic pronunciation. E.g., he changed “honour” to “honor,” “plough” to “plow” and “centre” to “center.” His attempts at transforming the language were sometimes met with rebuke,however. Deciding to change “women” to “wimmen,” and “tongue” to “tung” being prime examples of this.



Ergograph - instrument for measuring, recording muscular work

Ergology - study of effects of work on humans

Ergometer - instrument for measuring work performed ergonomics-study of people at work

Ergomania - excessive desire to work; workaholism

Ergophile - one who loves work

Ergophobia - fear of work


a thousand things; a thousand years

Printed in 1928, this $1000 bill (right) features two-time United States President Grover Cleveland. He was the nation’s 22nd and 24th president, earning him the distinction of being the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Courtesy of US Treasury $5,000 Series 1918 Green Seal

Zenzizenzizenzic - mathematical notation representing the eighth power of a number (that is, the zenzizenzizenzic of x is X 8TH (obsolete)


  To take one’s pleasure; enjoy oneself; pamper oneself; luxuriate


to cry like a cowboy


literally, the killing of time


Gaelic for beautiful fairie                                                                     ➼➼➼➼

Or the very opposite 


a hag in the shape of a goat. 


Octanary - of, relating to or consisting of 8

Octonocular - having 8 eyes

Oct (Octal) - base-8 numerical system using digits 0 - 7 where 10 represents 8 in decimal and 100 represents 64

Octophobia - fear of the number 8


Witticastera - petty or inferior wit


Brimborion - worthless nonsense; trash


Iff - if and only if


Nudiusterian - two days ago (the day before                                                yesterday)


Hylogenesis - the origin of matter

Quotidian - of or occurring every day;                                     commonplace, ordinary


An entrance or exit in a theater or ampitheater.



 whirling around the universe



intemperate, uncontrolled;



The earliest mention of a dictionary in history is from Babylon in the 6th century BC. The Chinese had their first written dictionary in 100 AD; Japanese history mentions their first dictionary in the 7th century AD. In Europe, the earliest dictionaries didn’t contain definitions of words.

Eucatastrophe - a sudden turn of events at the end of a story which ensures that the protagonist does not meet some terrible, impending, and very plausible and probable doom.

Callipygian -  having shapely buttocks





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  outside, beyond the                                               physical world                                                                     





Ypotryll - Medieval European chimeric creature featured in heraldry. It has the tusked head of a wild boar or hog, the humped body of a camel, the legs and hooves of an ox or goat and the long, scaly tail of a serpent. . The creature is known for its awesome ugliness, these creatures are bulks of muscle and hate, pure savagery and destruction incarnate.


     Apercu - a bright idea



being sexually attracted to highly intelligent people                          ➼➼➼➼➼


Someone who is rude, uncouth and uncultured 



 mentally lethargic; dull-witted; intellectually depthless





Fear of failure


       fear of success

Octologist :

A person who studies the metaphysical nature and essence of being 

Nihilarian: A person who deals with things of no importance.


the person who inventories the lead for lead pencils; the author of tv repair manuals; any Democrat vice president 


 A harsh, critical remark.  


Oral or verbal abuse towards a person.                        


a knockdown blow or sudden, decisive argument. Used historically, esp. in the context of heated discussions or debates.


 A bald head                



A sky nymph   


To resist; refuse; protest 



an overthrow or 

reversal; violent 



To fill up


to gulp down quickly and greedily


Hollow or empty                 ➼➼➼


laying a bottle on its side until it fully drains of the few drops remaining

Emacity:   fondness for buying things


spending great amounts of money on foods


 one who eats babies


The act or posture of eating while in recline - so anyone who snacks in bed while watching Netflix is in Accubation.


 the eating of excrement or other filth

Hamartia:   flaw in a character leading to his downfall


  full of complaints

Y You Ask

You might be interested to know that the "and sometimes Y" mentioned at the end of the vowels list is rather misleading. "Y", it seems, has more functions as a vowel than a consonant. 

According to Y Is A Vowel When:                           

  • A word has no other vowel

  • It's used at the end of a word or syllable

  • It is in the middle of a syllable

  • It makes a short I sound (as in ‘myth’ or ‘gym’)

  • It makes a long I sound (as in ‘my’ or ‘fly’)

  • It makes a long E sound (as in ‘Germany’ or ‘hungry’)

  • It is part of a digraph–two letters that make a sound together– (as in ‘May’ or ‘abbey’)

Exceptions include words like lawyer, canyon, and beyond5.

Conversely, y represents a consonant when it starts off a word or syllable, as in yardlawyer, or beyond. And that's about it.

Now on with the words of the Y's:

Dry: The act of removing moisture.

Fly: Travel or move through air.

Fry: Cook in a hot pan with oil.                      

Gypsy: A nomad living the tribal way.                                                                      

Hymn: A song of praise for the Lord.

Lymph: A bodily fluid.

Lynch: To kill or hurt without legal sanction.

Lynx: A wild cat with a short tail.

Myth: A baseless story.

Pygmy: a very short person

My: Possessive pronoun used to show belonging of an object.

Ply: Give the desired or needed.

Rhythm: A musical beat with regular intervals.

Shy: Short of; lacking confidence.

Sky: The outer space; appears blue when viewed from the earth’s surface.

Spry: Moving swiftly.

Spy: To watch secretly.

Sylph: A graceful and slender young woman.

Try: Attempt.

Tryst: Date with opposite gender.

Wry: Sarcastic in a humorous way.


Ohhh...So The Garment Was Named After The French ACROBAT Leotard, Not The Acrobat Naming Himself After the Leotard Garment... It All Makes Sense Now...


Does anyone fancy a ham and cheese Stamford? You might be eating one right now if that particular Earl had invented what we all now know as the sandwich. Here are some other origins of words that come from people’s names.

It’s a famous story but let’s just recap for a moment. The Earl of Sandwich is at his gambling table and in the middle of a game and he feels peckish. The earl likes to eat slices of roast beef in-between meals; however, on this occasion, he didn’t want to leave the game nor get his hands greasy from the meat.

So he asked his servant to place the meat between two slices of bread so he could hold it with one hand and continue playing with the other. Thus, the humble sandwich was born and has become so great a fixture in American culture it is even used as a verb.

But what if a different Earl had come up with this request? We might all be calling the humble sandwich something completely different, like a Stamford. Isn’t it funny how words just embed themselves into our subconscious without us really knowing their origins?

Here are 10 examples of the little-known origins of widely used words that come from people’s names:

1. Bloomers

Women’s underwear

Amelia Bloomer was a 19-century Women’s Rights activist. Her newspaper ‘Lily’ changed the way women viewed themselves. It encouraged women to stand up for their rights and included radical dress reform.

This might seem frivolous to us now, but in those days, women wore restrictive corsets and dresses fitted with huge skirts. Amelia championed a new style of clothing for women – the pantaloons, basically baggy trousers. Due to her endless campaigning, the pantaloons became known as ‘bloomers’.

2. Boycott

To abstain from using

The word boycott seems to have been in use since the Middle Ages, but in fact, it was only coined a couple of centuries ago. Moreover, the word originates from a man. Conversely, the man associated with the word was being boycotted himself.

Captain Charles Boycott was an unscrupulous landlord in the late 19-century. He had a habit of charging exorbitant rents for his tenants and evicting them if they couldn’t pay. As a result, farmers shunned him and so we have the word boycott.

3. Cardigan

A knitted garment

This is another word that originates from an Earl. James Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan was a military hero. Not only did he fight in the Crimean War but he actually led the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.

His troops had to endure a ferocious onslaught and a harsh Russian winter but Brudenell used his own wealth to kit out his soldiers with knitted woollen waistcoats. Thus, the Cardigan.

4. Decibel

Unit of measurement

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but did you know that the word decibel is also attributed to him?

Telephone engineers needed a word to describe the efficiency of telephone circuits to replace ‘transmission units’. They decided on the ‘bel’ after the telephone’s inventor Bell. However, a bel is too large in practice so the prefix ‘deci’ was added to denote one-tenth of the measurement.

5. Dunce

Ignorant person

Poor old John Duns Scotus. This theologian was widely regarded as one of the greatest thinkers of his time. His ideas ranged from philosophy to language, morality, even metaphysics. He wrote papers and had encyclopaedic knowledge.

Hugely popular in the 13-century, his ideas fell out of favor in the 16-century thanks to the Protestants who disliked his work. They used his name to dispute his theories and it became synonymous with an ignorant person.

6. Leotard

Stretchy one-piece garment

Jules Leotard was a French acrobat who joined the circus and devised his own trapeze act in 1859. In order to show off his amazing feats on the high wire, and to make sure no loose clothing got in the way of his act, he designed a one-piece garment.

This garment was tight-fitting with long sleeves and eventually became known as a leotard.

7. Masochism

To derive satisfaction from other’s pain

Chevalier Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was a 19-century Austrian journalist and writer. In 1869 he persuaded his mistress to serve as a slave for him for 6 months. He then used the experience to write a novella ‘Venus in Furs’.

The novella described the degradation of the main character. It was so influential that in 1886, esteemed Austrian psychiatrist Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing coined the term ‘masochism’ to depict satisfaction from another’s pain.

8. Maverick

An independent person who thinks differently

Samuel Maverick was a cattle rancher in mid-Texas in the 19-century. At the time, by law, all ranchers had to brand their cattle but Maverick refused.

Funnily enough, if you look up ‘maverick’ in the dictionary, in North America it can also mean ‘an unbranded calf’.

9. Shrapnel

Pieces of a bullet, bomb or other explosive

Shrapnel’s just shrapnel, isn’t it? Surely, it doesn’t originate from a person’s name? This is another word like a sandwich.

It sounds exactly like the thing it represents, but it comes from a guy called Henry Shrapnel. Shrapnel spent decades devising ways to develop bombs and shells that caused the most damage when they exploded.

10. Pompadour

A type of hairstyle

There aren’t many of us that get to have a hairstyle named in our honour. There’s the Rachel from Friends and there’s Madame de Pompadour.

The Madame was a big thing in French society in the 18-century. She was a mistress to King Louis XV and his political advisor. Her signature hairstyle has lived on with many celebrities wearing it in their own inimitable style, including John Travolta, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Johnnie Cash, Justin Timberlake, and David Beckham.

Isn’t funny when you think about the origins of well-known words and how some come from actual people? Oh well, I must get on, that ham and cheese stamford isn’t going to eat itself.




  2. Featured image: portrait of Marquise de Pompadour

Sub-editor & staff writer at Learning Mind

Tittynope - a small quantity of something left over



  ' Admiration, n. Our polite recognition of another's                       resemblance to ourselves

  • BATHn. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.

  • CHURCHn. A place where the parson worships God and the women worship the parson.

  • DEVOTIONn. A mild type of mental aberration variously produced; in love, by a surplus of blood; in religion, by chronic dyspepsia

  • ENVYn.

    1. Emulation adapted to the meanest capacity.

    2. The feeling that provokes a preacher to denounce the Adversary

  • FLATTERv.t. To impress another with a sense of one's own merit.

  • GRATITUDEn. A sentiment lying midway between a benefit received and a benefit expected.

  • HAPPINESSn. An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.

  • INGRATEn. One who receives a benefit from another, or is otherwise an object of charity.

  • JEALOUSadj. Unduly concerned about the preservation of that which can be lost only if not worth keeping.

  • KILTn. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.

  • LABORn. One of the processes by which A acquires property for B.

  • MOUTHn. In man, the gateway to the soul; in woman, the outlet of the heart.

  • NONSENSEn. The objections that are urged against this excellent dictionary

  • OUTRAGEn. Any disagreeable act, considered from the viewpoint of the victim of it. A denial of immunity

  • Positive, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice.

  • Quotation, n. The act of repeating erroneously the words of another. The words erroneously repeated.

  • RATIONALadj. Devoid of all delusions save those of observation, experience and reflection.

  • Self-esteem, n. An erroneous appraisement.

  • TRUTHFULadj. Dumb and illiterate

  • Year, n. A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.