Weird and wonderful words in Oxford Dictionaries
The third Monday in January is allegedly the most depressing day of the year. We can see why: Christmas festivities are but a memory (apart from maybe an extra inch or two round the waist), we’ve just given up on our New Year’s resolutions, it feels like a long time since payday, and it’s been cold and miserable for as long as we can remember. (If you live in the Southern hemisphere, please don’t write to us to tell us that it’s warm and sunny where you are…)
So, assuming you feel as bleak as we do, we thought we’d try cheer you and ourselves up by contemplating the endless inventiveness of the English language. We bring you (ta-da!) the Oxford Dictionaries team’s unofficial A-Z of weird and wonderful words to make you smile in January:
Shaped like or resembling an eel
A person who talks at great length without making much sense.
Having well-shaped buttocks.
A pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic.
Tending to disappear; fleeting.
Bold, cheeky, or flashy.
A person’s big toe.
A small-time confidence trickster.
Easily recognizable; conspicuous.
The mythical transformation of a person into a wolf.
Try to deceive (someone), especially with flattery or untruths.
Triviality or frivolity.
A clockwork model of the solar system, or of just the sun, earth, and moon.
A flourish after a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery.
An ancient Inca device for recording information, consisting of variously coloured threads knotted in different ways.
(Of a word) polysyllabic; long.
Relating to the sea.
A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action.
Exhausted or slightly unwell.
(Chiefly in science fiction) the scientific study of alien biology, cultures, etc.
(In the Big Bang theory) the primordial matter of the universe, originally conceived as composed of neutrons at high temperature and density.
Proceeding by inquiry.