Category Archives: fun with words

Quiz: Can You Guess the Meanings of These Unusual Words?

26 Words That Probably Aren’t In Your VocabularyHere are 26 unusual words —one for each letter of the alphabet. See how many you know. Their definitions are at the bottom of the post. Give yourself two points for each correct answer.

A anonymuncle (n.)

B blatteroon (n.)

C cribble (v.)

D diplasiasmus (n.)

E engastrate (v.)

F fuscoferuginous (adj.)

G galeanthropy (n.)

H haptodysphoria (n.)

I illeism (n.)

J jowfair (n.)

K kyphorrhinos (n.)

L lexiphanic (adj.)

M mabble (v.)

N nosism (n.)

O oligosyllable (n.)

P pyknik (adj.)

Q qualtagh (n.)

R redactophobia (n.)

S smellfungus (n.)

T turngiddy (n.)

U umbecast (v.)

V vernalagnia (n.)

W witzelsucht (n.)

X xenobombulate (v.)

Y yeuky (adj. you-kee)

Z zenzizenzizenzic (n.)

(BONUS: Add 50 points if you can
1. pronounce “zenzizenzizenzic” correctly,
2. find an online reference to prove it,and
3. say it fast 10 times without stumbling!)


a petty anonymous writer (Have anonymuncles left comments on your blog?)

blatteroon: a person who blabbers or boasts incessantly

cribble: to pass something through a sieve

diplasiasmus: the incorrect doubbling of a letter when spelling a word

Turduckenengastrate: to stuff one bird into another (Ever heard of a turducken?)

fuscoferuginous: having a dark rusty color

galeanthropy: the mental condition of thinking that one has become a cat

haptodysphoria: an unpleasant feeling caused by handling any fuzzy surface (Peaches anyone?)

illeism: the practice of referring to oneself as “he” or “she”, or by one’s name (Jean likes this one.)

jowfair: an event which does not occur after much planning, such as a wedding without a groom

kyphorrhinos: a nose with a bump on it

lexiphanic: the use of pretentious words (Hmmm… Is this a lexiphanic blog post?)

mabble: to wrap up

nosism: the practice of referring to oneself as “we” (Often used by editors and known as the “editorial we.” WE found errors in these definitions.)

oligosyllable: a word with fewer than four syllables

pyknik: short and fat

qualtagh: the first person entering a house on New Year’s Day

26 Words That Probably Aren’t In Your Vocabularyredactophobia: a fear of editors or editing (Are you redactophobic?)

smellfungus: a person who finds fault with everything; a complainer

turngiddy: dizzy

umbecast: to ponder

vernalagnia: spring fever

witzelsucht: inappropriate or pointless humor

xenobombulate: to malinger

yeuky: itchy

zenzizenzizenzic: the eighth power of a number


How well did you do? A perfect score, including the bonus, is 102.
If you didn’t do well, give yourself two points for each new word you learned today!



Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!


1 Comment

Filed under Fun, fun with words, Quizzes, Uncategorized, unusual words, words

Most Writers and Readers Suffer From Manias & Phobias. Do You?


In a previous post, I wrote about hypergraphia and other unpleasant conditions affecting writers. Here are several more.

Typomaniaan obsession to write for publication, is most common among unpublished writers.

Some writers suffer from metromania, the compulsion to write poetry.

Negative criticism of one’s writing sometimes leads to phronemophobia, a fear of thinking, but almost never to sophophobia, a fear of learning.

Writers aren’t the only ones plagued by manias and phobias.
Readers are, as well.

come-organizzare-lagenda-di-lavoro_27d82465e5e2f5f8d92b606a5a77a419Biblioniomania, a word created by the folks over at Interesting Literature, means a mania for buying books. They also give us ambibibliopropria, being unable to remember when browsing in a second-hand bookshop whether or not you already own a particular book, and bibliosmia, the desire to smell books, especially old tomes.

If you are a voracious reader, someone who reads all the time, then you are a bibliophagist, one who devours books, and you might also be a bibliobibuli, someone who reads too much. If you run out of reading material, you might even resort to bibliokleptomania, an intense desire to steal books. And there are a few readers who fall prey to alogotransiphobia, the fear of being caught on public transportation with nothing to read.

There is one phobia much worse than the others:


Bibliophobia—a fear of books! Is there a bibliophobe in your circle of friends? Maybe you can plan an intervention.

All of these great words come from one of my favorite web sites:
Interesting Literature.
Head over there and take a look. Add it to your bookmarks.

Until next time—Happy writing and reading!



Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!



Filed under Fear, Fun, fun with words, Uncategorized, unusual words, words

Do You Know the Meanings of These Christmas Carol Words?

imagesChristmas carols. You listen to them.You sing them.
But do you know the meanings of all the words?


Let’s see if you can guess the meanings of the words and phrases in boldface type. (Answers below)

From “Away in a Manger”
“The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes.”

From “Deck the Halls”
“Troll the ancient Yuletide carol.”

From “The Wassail Song”
“Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green”

wen5From “Good King Wenceslas”
“Good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen
“Sire, he lives a good league hence underneath the mountain”

From “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
“Still through the cloven skies they come”

4504007_640pxFrom “Ding Dong Merrily on High.”
“Ding dong, verily the sky is riv’n with angel singing”

From “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful”
“We too would thither bend our joyful footsteps.”

From “Angels We Have Heard On High”
“Gloria in excelsis Deo.”

Two bonus questions . . .

Which song title has the correct punctuation?
“God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen”
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”

What does the word “carol” mean?



Lowing is that low mooing sound that cows make.

To troll means “to sing loudly.”

A-wassailing is going door-to-door singing Christmas carols.

The Feast of Stephen is a special day held in the Catholic Church on December 26 in honor of St. Stephen; it is also known as “Boxing Day.” League is a distance measure equaling about three miles.

Cloven means “split” or “divided in two.” In this song it refers to clouds parting in the sky to reveal God’s angels.

Verily is a synonym for “truly” and riven is another adjective for “split.”

Thither bend means “to move toward something.”

Gloria in excelsis Deo is is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest”.

“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” is correct, not “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen.” The phrase “rest ye merry” is used here to mean “rest assured.”

Carol comes from the Greek word “choros” which means “dancing in a circle,” and from the French word “carole” which means, “a song to accompany dancing.”

How well did you do?

imagesAre you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post daily articles and inspiration for writers. And while you’re there, I’d appreciate it if you’ll click on the “like” button near the top of the page. Thanks!

*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.


Filed under Christmas, fun with words, Uncategorized, unusual words, words