Nice Words (I liked)

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For a while now, whenever I’ve seen a word I liked and not known the meaning of, I’ve looked it up and stuck it on the end of a list in Google Keep. I was looking at the list the other day – I could not really remember (a) what any of them meant, or (b), where I read them. So, what I have done it stuck them all in a Google Sheets spreadsheet and bit-by-bit I’ll go through, look them up and note down the meaning.

The table is linked directly to the Sheets spreadsheet here, I am using the Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer WordPress plugin to make it all WordPress friendly and such.

I know what this was in physiological sense, but I think I came across as more a lack-of-foresight type critical sense. Not sure where.
FlaneurA man (or woman?) who saunters around observing society
Bildungsphilister (a neologism: Bildung + philistine) A philistine with cosmetic, nongenuine culture...whatever that means. Probably using the word qualifies.
Jante (, law of)A condescending attitude towards individuality and success. A nordic thing.
DiasporaPeople who have spread or been dispersed from their homeland.
"the Ukrainian diaspora flocked back to Kiev"
BoustrophedonWritten word where consecutive lines read forwards-backwards-forwards-backwards...kind of makes sense. if you ask me. Some ancient languages did it - did not catch on, but nor did Betamax.
WIsh I knew waht the context was where I found this word.
KaizenA Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc. Thing I came across the word reading about 'The Toyota Way' in the book: The Machine that Changed the World
Vocal fry
TorschlusspanikThe fear that time is running out to act, often regarding a life goal or opportunity.
Weltschmerz vs stoicism
MilieuA person's social environment.
From the French 'mid-place'
autotelic(of an activity or a creative work) having an end or purpose in itself.
Faustian bargain
An extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation. A confused heap.
starch gelatinization and proteins agglutination
Wu wei
LegerdemainSkilful use of one's hands when performing conjuring tricks.
Also, more generally, deception & trickery.
From the French, Leger de Main ('Slight/ lightness of hand")
Myoclonus,Myokymia & fasciculation
Sanchean phraseFrom Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: “Everything must have a beginning, to speak in Sanchean phrase; and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. The Hindus give the world an elephant to support it, but they make the elephant stand upon a tortoise.”
No idea what it means though. Read somewhere its alluding to Sancho Pancho, Don Quixote's squire and side-kick.
Closest english term for 'Sanchismos' maybe?
Encomiumsa speech or piece of writing that praises someone or something highly
komorebi (木漏れ日)
Flake of hay, blown calf (and cow blowing...) cast sheep
FlimflamNonsensical or insincere talk, or a confidence trick.
Came across when I was looking up 'Legerdemain' elsewhere in this list.
MoteA tiny piece of a substance; a speck.
"A mote of moon dust".
AtonalNot written in any (musical) key.k.
"There is no celestial harmony, but atonal panic" descring the sound of storm waves on a tropical island
SibilantMaking or characterized by a hissing sound
PeregrinationsA journey, especially a long or meandering one.
tête à baffeFrench for 'a pain in the neck'; but literal translation is 'the kind if face that makes you want to slap it'
unctuousExcessively flattering or ingratiating, but in toady, slimy & insincere sort of way.
hormesisphenomenon where a low dose of a stressor causes some small beneficial response whereas larger dose would not. An observed effect in toxicology... Different from homeopathy in which 'low' are orders of magnitude smaller (to the point of being, most studies would indicate) ineffective.
techne and epistemecrafts and know how & book knowledge, know what
fissiparousinclined to cause or undergo division into separate parts or groups. 'the fissiparous tendencies innate in tribalism"
iatrogenicsrelating to illness caused by medical examination or treatment.
spuriousI know, a relatively common word; but I like it and wasn't 100% what it meant:not being what it purports to be; false or fake.
asinineextremely stupid or foolish."Leo ignored Jon's asinine remark"
cynosurea person or thing that is the centre of attention or admiration
promulgatepromote or make widely known (an idea or cause). "these objectives have to be promulgated within the organization"
"these objectives have to be promulgated within the organization"
petrichorearthy smell of rain, mostly due to geosmin.
tabula rasablank slate, esp human mind at birth
autodidacta self taught person
adduceto cite/present as evidence
myoclonic/ hypnic jerkwhen you jolt awake when you are drifting of to sleep
frissontingles/eurphoria when you hear certain music, see certain art
misophoniaA strong reaction to specific sounds.
inveteratehaving a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change"""an inveterate gambler""".
codicilappendum to a will
abyssopelagic...and Jack Nicholson deploying full Nicholson Eyebrows to portray the Joker’s abyssopelagic depths of insanity.
esotericintended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
brown studyThe condition of being so lost in solitary thought as to be unaware of one's surroundings
Pyrrhic(of a victory) won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor.
pedunclea stalk like thing with a nodule on the end
Consecotaleophobiafear of chopsticks
jejunenaive and simplistic, or uninteresting
sinophobiafear/racism towards China ('mask-o-phobia')
Apopheniaincorrectly applying cause and effect between wholly unrelated things
hither and yon
fallaciousbased on fallacy
demoticdenoting or relating to the kind of language used by ordinary people; colloquial.
"a demotic idiom"
mast (year)bumper crops of acorns etc (hard mast) or berries etc (soft)
pannage(right to allow) pigs in woods eating acorns mostly
psithurismSound of rustling leaves. Pronounced sit-your-ism
whippletreetype of load spreading mechanism
prosodyProsody is the study of the tune and rhythm of speech and how these features contribute to meaning.
immolate1 : to kill or destroy especially by fire. 2 : to offer in sacrifice especially : to kill as a sacrificial victim
representativeness heuristic
martineta person who demands complete obedience; a strict disciplinarian.
pettifoggingplacing undue emphasis on petty details; petty or trivial.
factitiousartificial. A sham.
infundibularfunnel shaped
sad or dismal looking
rachiticlook if having rickets
anodynenot likely to cause offence or disagreement and somewhat dull
perfunctory(of an action) carried out without real interest, feeling, or effort."he gave a perfunctory nod"
cuidadobe careful, in Spanish (kewy dado)

Are Obscure Words ‘Bad’?

Every once in a while I come across something that says using obscure words is ‘bad’. Bad because obscure (actually more typically ‘long’ in the articles) words are pretentious, or actually make you sound stupid, not erudite…or just make you an arsehole. An example of such an article is here on LifeHacker; that article quotes a study titled Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilised Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly

I just like words. The whole idea of them. I am not smart enough to use them in normal conversation so kind of a mute point.

An Aside

For the sake of it, I did some Googling and came across My result was an estimated vocab of 32500 words, which was around the 70 percentile for a 37-year-old English speaker, which is okay I suppose.

The page’s blog does point out that the results are based on surveys of 2 million people as of 2013, but this population is representative of the 98% percentile of the American population as a whole: A certain type of person would take such a test. I was also pleased to see a couple of words in my list in the test words I was presented with!