Put in a Good Word – November 2015

I’m late on this (hello, project week and finals week!) but here are the words that caught my eye this past November. My favorites are prelapsarian, a Miltonian way to say “old,” and nefandous, a charmingly sinister word which I found while reading the Lovecraft short story “The Colour Out of Space.” As before, definitions are from the Oxford Dictionaries, Merriam-Webster, and Wiktionary.

  1. alacrity n. liveliness, sprightliness; briskness, speed; cheerful readiness or willingness
  2. ruction n. a noisy fight; a disturbance or uproar
  3. escutcheon n. the flat piece of metal around a keyhole, door handle, or light switch
  4. nefandous adj. not to be spoken of, unmentionable; abominable, atrocious
  5. exigency n. what is needed or required; a thing wanted or demanded; a requirement, a necessity
  6. cerise adj. the name of a light bright clear red, resembling that of some cherries
  7. cavil n. or v. a captious, quibbling, or frivolous objection; to object to or find fault with captiously
  8. percipient adj. (of a person) having a good understanding of things; perceptive
  9. traduce v. to speak badly of or tell lies about (someone) so as to damage their reputation
  10. propitiate v. to make (someone) pleased or less angry by giving or saying something desired; to win or regain the favor of (a god, spirit, or person) by doing something that pleases them
  11. tristesse n. a state of melancholy sadness
  12. fulsome adj. complimentary or flattering to an excessive degree; of large size or quantity; generous or abundant
  13. indicia n. signs, indications, or distinguishing marks
  14. effrontery n. insolent or impertinent behavior
  15. animadversion n. a critical and usually censorious remark; adverse criticism
  16. inchmeal adv. by inches; inch by inch; by small portions, little by little
  17. prelapsarian adj. characteristic of the time before the Fall of Man; innocent and unspoiled
  18. imbroglio n. an intricate or complicated situation; a confused heap
  19. pixilated adj. slightly crazed; bewildered, confused; fey, whimsical; (also) intoxicated
  20. welkin n. a cloud; the apparent arch or vault of heaven overhead; the sky, the firmament.
  21. raillery n. good-humoured ridicule or banter, often disguising a serious purpose; teasing, mockery
  22. ambisinister adj. awkward or clumsy with both or either hand [the opposite of ambidextrous –L.]
  23. apricity n. the warmth of the sun
  24. refulgence n. a radiant or resplendent quality or state; brilliance
  25. ramage n. wildness, spirit; courage; fierceness.
  26. ait n. a small island, an islet; esp. an island in a river
  27. provender n. food, provisions; (in early use esp.) dry food, as hay, oats, etc., for horses or cattle; fodder, forage
  28. aperçu n. a comment or brief reference that makes an illuminating or entertaining point
  29. limn v. to adorn or embellish with gold or bright colour
  30. palaver n. or v. prolonged and idle discussion; to talk unnecessarily at length