Interesting Words (moved from Games)

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
This isn't properly a game, but I wasn't sure where to post it. Since it isn't only about Latin, but at the same time is bound to involve some Latin, neither "General Latin Chat" nor "Other Languages" nor "Non-Latin Talk" felt entirely appropriate. So, heck, I post it here; even if it doesn't properly belong here either, it's still something fun although it isn't really a game.

This thread is for posting "Interesting Words" in the broadest possible sense of the term — that is, words you find interesting because curious, funny, nice, beautiful, or (why not) ugly; words that you like or words that strike you for any reason whatsoever, and in any language whatsoever. You can even post words of your own invention.

Let me start by giving a few of my favourites:

In Latin, Plautus coined many wonderful words, like lubifragium, stultividus, dentilegus, urbicapus, stultiloquium. Apuleius has a few nice ones too, like dependulus, antependulus, retropendulus.

One English word I like is the verb "to throne-sit" which I discovered in something posted by Hawkwood once.

One amazing Old English word is selfæta, literally "self-eater", meaning a cannibal.

There are many others that I like, but that'll be enough for now. As may be apparent from the preceding, I have a particular liking for compound words.
 
I'll add one: "triangulation."

It has a few different meanings but the one I find most interesting pertains to politics and sometimes you can actually catch a politician doing it.
 

Iohannes Aurum

Technicus Auxiliarius
I'll add one: "triangulation."

It has a few different meanings but the one I find most interesting pertains to politics and sometimes you can actually catch a politician doing it.
It is also used in geographic analysis, which involves finding a point covered by the signals of three passing satellites, which would pinpoint an accurate and precise location, especially for GPS.
 

Imperfacundus

Reprobatissimus
I'm fond of allumer; its combination of /l, y, e/ is pleasing to my ears. It's about the most euphonic derivative I can think of for lumen.​
I've always enjoyed saying salacious. It lends itself to rather suggestive pronunciations, as if designed with that in mind.​
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Taghairm, which Chambers defines as 'inspiration sought by lying in a bullock's hide behind a waterfall'.

Magnesium iron silicate hydroxide was discovered in Cummington, Massachusetts, in 1824, and its inhabitants may well have felt a bit chuffed when they found out that the mineral was to be named after the town. And we've all been sniggering at cummingtonite ever since.
 
One I don't like is: "gastro" as in a gastro-pub or gastro meals (supermarket brand) Why o' why call a restaurant or brand of ready-meal by this name? It puts me off eating the food and reminds me of stomach cramps and farts, yak.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
At least it's Greek, though there's more wrong with gastropubs than the name. Incidentally, those of you not in the UK – do other countries do this sort of idiocy?

My pet hatred – well, one of them – is referring to old people as geriatrics, or using the adjective to mean 'relating to old people' instead of 'relating to the medical treatment of old people'. Why not call anklebiters p[a]ediatrics while you're at it?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I knew "overwhelm", of course, but have just discovered its unprefixed form, "whelm".
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The word must have left a pretty deep impression on you, for you to remember excatly where you saw it for the first time 40 years ago. Unless you just have exceedingly good memory and remember nearly everything. Or both.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
True enough, but that it should go down to such tiny details...
I think your own memory for words and when you first met some of them is no less sharp.

It's not just a matter of what words mean but what words mean to you. For a good few of us on this forum I'm sure words can and do have a much greater resonance than they do for most "ordinary" people.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
My childhood memories are too blurry for me to remember any particular word in any particular book. Now maybe no word I read as a child was striking enough, I don't know, lol.
 
"Dink" when used to describe a certain football skill that normally happens when a keeper committs himself prior to the player with the ball pulling the trigger. The player then pokes (dinks) the ball from underneath (fairly lightly) and plays a little lob over the already committed keeper and into the back of the net.

Dink: It describes the action quite perfectly to my mind.
 
Worm burner.

Staying on footie but crossing the pond, the American's have an awful word for a "drill shot" (UK term for a shot hit hard that stays low.) They call it a "worm burner."
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Suspendium.

I like that there's a particular word for that. Funnily, Latin lacks a word for "suicide" in general, but has a word for that particular form of suicide.
 

Imperfacundus

Reprobatissimus
Направо- 'to the right' in Russian, but, somehow, 'straight ahead' in Bulgarian. My boss and I had this problem as we were driving today. We were really confused until we figured it out.
 
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