I love how words have the capacity to surprise. They don’t always mean what they sound like, if that makes any kind of sense, but sometimes they do. Here are some that I have collected recently by reading books, articles and blog posts.
Syllogism – spotted in A Writer’s Notebook by W S Maugham. “The areca trees outlined against the night were slim and elegant. They had the gaunt beauty of a syllogism.” Syllogism is an argument with two premises and a conclusion. I can’t recall coming across this word before and I wish I had the artistry to use a word such as this in a context as outlined above.
Nocturne – this brings to mind exquisite piano pieces, especially music appropriate for playing in the evening. It can also be used for compositions with a dreamy or pensive nature.
Promulgate – I like the formal sound of this word. It is used to describe a proclamation or public declaration.
Oleaginous – this sounds like its meaning; having the nature of quality of oils.
Dreich – another word that, once defined, sounds like its meaning. Bleak, miserable, cheerless and dreary. I came across it in a blog post by La Tour Abolie and had to add it to my vocabulary.
Diapason – deep, melodic outpouring of sound. A chorus of frogs on dusk, cicadas at the height of summer, the dawn chorus, sheer musicality.
Drube (also droob) – the smallest portion of anything, a coin with little or no value.
Ailurophile – I spotted this on the jacket of The Uncyclopedia by Gideon Haigh, a rather eccentric collection of knowledge and lists. This includes, amongst many other curiosities, a list of Australian towns and suburbs named for ships. Esperance (WA), Lucinda (Qld) and Victor Harbor (SA) are a sample. As for an ailurophile, that would be a cat lover.
Have you come across any words lately that have expanded your mind?
[Photo: local leaves]