Tag: Word of the week

Word of the week: Amanuensis

Amanuensis (noun) [uhmanyooh'ensuhs] Did you know this is a fancy word for "secretary"? It comes from Ancient Rome when an amanuensis was employed to take dictation or copy manuscripts. These days it can refer to any kind of secretary or assistant that helps with words. So you might say... read more

Word of the week: Eponymous

Eponymous (adjective) [uh'ponuhmuhs] This comes from the Greek word "eponym" (meaning "significant name") and is the name of the person after whom a label or place or product or invention is named. So you refer to "Ivanka Trump's eponymous label that was dropped by the department store Nordstrom... read more

Word of the week: Lacustrine

Lacustrine (adjective) [luh'kustruyn] Thanks for Matthew Morrison @acutemattiosis for pinging us this word which he, in turn, read in a tweet by Rob Macfarlane. "Lacustrine" usually refers to things like plants or animals that live or occur on or in lakes. So you must say “That’s a lacustrine... read more

Word of the week: Abstruse

Abstruse (adjective) [uhb'stroohs] If you think this word is hard to understand then you would be right! It actually means "difficult to understand or esoteric". So you might say that "He had an abstruse approach to solving the problem." Listen to Valerie and Allison chat more about this and... read more

Word of the week: Callipygian

Callipygian (adjective) [kal-uh-pij-ee-uh n] Believe it or not, this means “a well rounded bum”! So you would say “Kim Kardashian has made a business out of trading off her callipygian figure.” Listen to Valerie and Allison chat more about this and more on the world of... read more

Word of the week: Ignoble

Ignoble (adjective) [ig-noh-buhl] When the letters ig are in front of an n, that usually mean "not" so this simply means "not noble". The Macquarie Dictionary goes on to say that it's of "low character" or "low grade". So you might say "He had ignoble motives." To... read more

Word of the week: Lubricious

Lubricious (adjective) [loo-brish-uh s] According to the book 500 Words Your Should Know: "Another word for lewd, lascivious or indeed libidinous, though this is more formal than any of them. It's from the same Latin root as lubricate and lubricant, with their implications of slipperiness and reducing... read more

Word of the week: Pulchritude

Pulchritude (noun) [pul-chri-tude] It seems like such an ugly looking word but it means the opposite. The Macquarie Dictionary defines it as "beauty" or "comeliness". So you might say: "The actress Robin Wright is a woman of great pulchritude." Listen to Valerie and Allison chat more about this... read more

Word of the week: Sophistry

Sophistry (noun) [soff-uh-stree] This generally means "a false argument or reasoning". So you might say: "John tried to use sophistry to hide his illegal actions from the tax agency." (From wordsinasentence.com) Listen to Valerie and Allison chat more about this and more on the world of writing... read more

Word of the week: Nomenclature

Nomenclature (noun) [noh-MEN-kla-cher] I love this word and actually use it all the time. According to the Macquarie Dictionary it is: "a set or system of names or terms, as those used in a particular science or art by an individual or community". So you might say... read more

Word of the week: Farrago

Farrago (noun) [fuh-rah-goh] This comes from the Latin meaning "cattle feed" and, according to the Macquarie Dictionary means "a confused mixture; a hotchpotch". So you might say "The police were fed with a farrago of lies from the mafia family members." To hear Valerie and Allison chat more... read more

Word of the week: Apple-knocker

Apple-knocker (noun) [ap-uh l-nok-er] While this ain't a common term in Australia and is not listed in the Macquarie Dictionary, it's more used as a colloquial term in the US where it means "an ignorant or unsophisticated person", like a hillbilly perhaps. There could... read more

Word of the week: Peregrination

Peregrination (noun) [perra-grin-AY-shin] This means "travelling from one place to another". So you might say "She took photos of all the big tourist attractions on her peregrination from Cairns to Coffs Harbour." To hear Valerie and Allison chat more about this and more on the world of... read more

Word of the week: Bombilate

Bombilate (verb) [bom-bi-layt] This means "to buzz or hum". So you might say "The alarm kept on bombilating." Well, we can't imagine anyone actually saying that, but if they did now you'd know what it means! To hear Valerie and Allison chat more about this and... read more

Word of the week: Gongoozler

Gongoozler (noun) [Gon-goo-z-lerr] This means someone who is an idle spectator. Specifically, it used to refer to someone who enjoyed watching the boats go by on canals but now has a more generic meaning. To hear Valerie and Allison chat more about this and more on the... read more

Word of the week: Grawlix

Grawlix (noun) [graw-licks] This refers to the typographical symbols used to represent a profane word. Like "@#[email protected]%$&*"./. When I was little, I remember reading Asterix books and they would contain these symbols. At the time I had no idea what they meant! To hear Valerie and Allison chat more... read more

Word of the week: Quidnunc

Quidnunc (noun) [kwid-ˌnəŋk] This refers to someone who loves to hear the latest scandal and gossip. So you would say that the women on The Real Housewives of Sydney are all quidnuncs! To hear Valerie and Allison chat more about this and more on the world of writing... read more

Word of the week: Blatherskite

Blatherskite [blath-er-skahyt] This is a noun that refers to someone given to voluble, empty talk. I'm sure we all know a blatherskite or two in our lives. So you might say: "I've stopped paying attention to him because he is such a blatherskite." To hear Valerie... read more

Word of the week: Magazine

Magazine (noun) [mag-uh-zeen] From The Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth: “Once upon a time there was an Arabic word khazana meaning to store up. From that they got makhzan meaning storehouse and its plural makhazin. That word sailed northwards across the Mediterranean (the middle of the earth) and become... read more

Word of the week: Halcyon

Halcyon (adjective) [halseeuhn] It's one of those words that many people find hard to pronounce. But once you master it, you can use it freely to mean "peaceful, gentle or carefree". Like "Remember the halcyon days of your childhood when you lived on the farm?" To hear Valerie and... read more