underused words Petrichor: the fresh and fleeting smell of the earth when the first few drops of rain hit the ground. Pronunciation (thanks! Sudhir Srinivasan): pɛtrɨkər is how it’s pronounced. Phonetically, it seems to go: pet-ri-cur Etymology (thanks! Dan Smith): The word is made from two Greek words – petra = “stone/earth”, ichor = “the fluid running through Gods’ veins” Horripilation: when the hairs on your skin stand up from fear, cold or excitement. cat unused words

  • meretricious – 1. attracting attention in a vulgar manner; plausible but false or insincere; specious
  • nescience – absence of knowledge or awareness; ignorance
  • sanctimonious – feigning piety or righteousness
  • scurrilous – given to the use of vulgar, coarse, or abusive language. A scurrilous “attention whore” would be meretricious
  • tarradiddle –  1. a petty falsehood; a fib. 2. silly pretentious speech or writing; twaddle
  • valetudinarian – a sickly or weak person, especially one who is constantly and morbidly concerned with his or her health
  • effrontery – Insolent or impertinent behavior: “had the effrontery to challenge the decision”
  • factotum – A servant employed to do a variety of jobs
  • fatuous – Showing a lack of intelligence or thought; stupid and silly
  • fulsome – Unpleasantly and excessively suave or ingratiating in manner or speech, sickeningly excessive. Awkward usage of the word over at [1]
  • cavil – An evasion of the point of an argument by raising irrelevant distinctions or objections
  • fulminate – Criticize severely/explode (think of Vernon Dursley). similar to pique. a person who fulminates might also jibe too.
  • officious – Intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner
  • perfunctory – Hasty and without attention to detail; not thorough
  • peremptory – Offensively self-assured or given to exercising usually unwarranted power
  • prerogative – A right reserved exclusively by a particular person or group
  • supplicant – Humbly entreating
  • thespian – Of or relating to drama
  • decorticate – peel
  • propitiate – appease
  • prurience – lasciviousness. Not something you’d expect from a prude 😀
  • ratiocination – reasoning
  • disabuse – to set right. “I shalt disabuse you of the notion that…”
  • chicanery/skullduggery  – trickery. One prone to skullduggery would also be prone to inveigle.
  • probity – Complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles
  • sedulous – diligent/persistent (even though it sounds a lot more like sedition!)
  • punctilious – Marked by precise accordance with details
  • fastidious – Giving careful attention to detail; hard to please; excessively concerned with cleanliness. A more negative subset of “punctilious”
  • desultory – aimless. When I’m at my worst, not only am I perfunctory, but I’m also desultory too. =/ And then forlornly dream for a sinecure
  • diaphanous – transparent
  • encomium – glowing praise
  • peroration – concluding part of a speech
  • saturnine – gloomy/sullen
  • sententious – tending to moralize excessively. A sententious hypocrite would sound sanctimonious.
  • repine – express discontent. a captious (and sententious) person would repine (and carp+grouse) a lot.
  • Stygian – gloomy/dark
  • tendentious – Having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
  • platitudinous – Dull and tiresome but with pretensions of significance or originality
  • inveigle – obtain by deception or flattery
  • obviate – to anticipate and to make unnecessary
  • deglutition – swallowing
  • bathetic – overly sentimental
  • psittacopasseran – a taxon of birds consisting of the Passeriformes (passerines, a large group of perching birds) and Psittaciformes (parrots) – I loved that word when I first encountered it in a journal article
  • sylvan – Relating to or characteristic of wooded regions
  • turpitude – A corrupt or depraved or degenerate act or practice
  • temerity – fearless daring
  • hermetic – Completely sealed; completely airtight
  • prolix – Tediously prolonged or tending to speak or write at great length
  • farcicial – ridiculous
  • parsimonious – stingy (think Civ III)
  • esurient – greedy
  • manacle – confine or restrain with
  • burlesque – ridiculous
  • turgid – Ostentatiously lofty in style
  • apropos – appropriate, apposite
  • aspersion – a disparaging remark
  • bedizen – dress tastelessly.
  • expatiate – Add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way, usually in writing
  • inelectuable – inevitable
  • invidious – containing a slight prejudice
  • spendthrift – recklessly wasteful
  • untoward – Not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society
  • usury – An exorbitant or unlawful rate of interest
  • bromidic – Dull and tiresome but with pretensions of significance or originality
  • mordant – Harshly ironic or sinister
  • ribald – humorously vulgar
  • reprobate – someone without moral scruples. the anti-thesis of the sententious person
  • raillery – Light teasing repartee
  • simper – A silly self-conscious smile
  • scintilla – A tiny or scarcely detectable amount
  • blandishment – Flattery intended to persuade
  • supine – Lying face upward
  • wheedle – Influence or urge by gentle urging, caressing, or flattering
  • nugatory – of no real value
  • picayune – of little importance (simcity 2000 used that word to parody newspapers)
  • phlegmatic – Showing little emotion
  • roue – A dissolute man in fashionable society
  • kismet – An event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future (fait accompli)
  • lurid – Glaringly vivid and graphic; marked by sensationalism/Horrible in