Words of the Day, collated, part 1

Reviewing previous “word of the day” posts. Here are some of my favorites, from mostest to less-mostest, except I saved the best for last. Just keeping you on your toes.

These words deserve to be preserved through use. Have you smooshed any of them into your active vocabulary? (I haven’t yet. Although I did use “gobsmacked” in conversation the other day, so all hope is not yet lost…)

Ratiocination – The process of thinking, reasoning.

Tatterdemalion – A scruffy person; someone who dresses in ragged clothes. Co-opted in the early 70s as the name for a Marvel Comics villain.

Periphrasis – “Circumlocution; an indirect way of saying ‘saying something indirectly’. Sort of.” (Gee I crack myself up.)

Crepuscular – Of or like twilight. The day faded from crepuscular gray to fuliginous black. In zoology, used to describe animals that become active after sunset or before sunrise, such as bats, and therefore a term potentially useful in horror novels and movies.

Makebate – An argumentative person; somebody who excites contention and quarrels.

Foudroyant – Dazzling or stunning. From the French word for “to strike by lightning”. (Cool.)

Peripetia – An abrupt or violent change in events or circumstances. Used particularly in drama.

And my favorite, among this list:

Pasquinade – A lampoon or satire posted in a public place. Derived from an early 1500s Roman statue named Pasquino. Upon this statue rapscallions took to posting anti-church screeds. Not to be confused with Momus, the greek god of ridicule and blame. (What a great job!)


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