Writer’s Compendium

The following is a light compendium of rare English words, compiled and provided in the hopes that it may aid the avid writer in the improvement of their art.


A

ablutomania (n) – a passion, obsession or preoccupation with bathing or cleanliness. e.g. I saw a video of an armadillo given to fits of ablutomania.

absquatulate (v) — to leave somewhere abruptly; run away; leave off; abandon. 1840-. e.g. Swiftly did the crook absquatulate the scene, the deputy, hot on his trails. During the Civil War, the military slang ‘skedaddle’ (1861-) replaced absquatulate as the go-to word for ‘clearing off with haste.’

acrasial (adj) – ill-regulated; ill-tempered. 1851-1851. e.g. The acrasial machine writhed, hissing steam. e.g. The woman was given to acrasial humors.

addecimate (v) – to tithe. 1612-1755. e.g. Though he addecimated regularly, the cook was otherwise miserly.

adimpleate (v) – to fill up. 1657-1657. e.g. Adimpleate the bucket with water. e.g. The workers adimpleated the zepplin envelope with hydrogen.

adumbrate (v) – to prefigure in a vague way; to broadly outline; to provide an inconclusive conceptualization. e.g. I could scarcely comprehend his arcane adumbrations.

adventitious (adj) – arising or derived from some other source; not intrinsic to that which it is found in. e.g. It is crucial for the man of letters, seeking originality in his work, to avoid adventitious additions.

agnothesia (n) – the state of confusion as to one’s feelings on a matter, which compels one to reevaluate their behavior, as if they were some other person. 2020. e.g. She fought through the fog of agnothesia and stumbled, after a deep reverie, upon the source of her discontent.

agonarch (n) – judge of a contest or activity. 1656-1656. e.g. Let the agonarch decide the victor.

airgonaut (n) – one who journeys through the air. 1784-1784. e.g. The intrepid airgonaut steered the balloon through the thermals.

alabandical (adj) – barbarous; stupefied from drink. 1656-1775. e.g. The spirits had worked her up into an alabandical state.

amandation (n) – an act of dismissing or sending away. 1656-1755. e.g. President Trump’s terse amandations of activist journalists has engendered considerable amarulence amongst the chattering class.

amarulence (n) – bitterness; spite. 1731-1755. e.g. Twitter, an engine of amarulence.

amorevolous (adj) – affectionate; loving. 1670-1670. e.g. My girl is the most amorevolous of women.

anguilliform (adj) – resembling an eel. e.g. Strange, anguilliform shapes moved beneath the murky waters.

antipelargy (n) – reciprocal or mutual kindness; love and care of children for their parents. 1656 -1731. e.g. The anarchist is want to eschew antipelargy in the children of the nation, so as to bring strife between mother and daughter, father and son.

apanthropinization (n) – withdrawal from human concerns and affairs. 1880-1880. e.g. Writer’s of a artistic stripe are often given to bouts of apanthropinization.

apeiron (n) – that which is boundless and infinite. e.g. The apperception of the infinite can never be gauged by the mortal senses, an apeironic elevation is required.

aporrhoea (n) – a bodily emanation; an effluvium. 1646-1880. e.g. The blade showered the emerald ground in sanguine aporrhoea.

archiloquy (n) – beginning of a speech; introduction of an oration. 1656-1656. e.g. The room swelled as the speaker launched into his archiloquy.

aretaloger (n) – braggart; one who boasts about his own accomplishments. 1623-1656. e.g. It is a unwritten rule that a politician in a democracy be an incorrigible liar, as well as a skillful aretaloger.

artigrapher (n) – writer or composer of a grammar; a grammarian. 1753-1753. e.g. Grammarian pedantry is the death of fluid prose.

assectation (n) – to follow after something else. 1656-1656. e.g. Social media is designed to excite in its users a mode of action comparable to a cat’s assectation of it’s owner’s laser-pointer.

astrobleme (n) – a large, ancient crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet. e.g. The crevice was massive and of considerably different composition than the surrounding land; possibly an astrobleme.

auriferous (adj) – of, or like, gold. 1655-. e.g. The lord’s armor gleamed auriferous in the mid-morning light.

auturgy (n) – self-action; independent activity. 1651-1656. From the Latin auturgia. e.g. The artist is inclined to auturgy in all their creative activities.

B

bajulate (v) – to bear a heavy burden. 1613-1662. One of the reasons many were skeptical of including women in the US military was due their inability to bajulate standard-issue backpacks.

benthos (n) – the flora and fauna on the bottom of a sea or lake. e.g. The diver was treated to the wonders of the local benthos.

bergschrund (n) – a type of deep, sometimes broad, crevasse occurring near mountain glaciers. e.g. With great effort, the climbers over-leapt the bergschrund and continued up the face of the glacial mound.

brontide (n) – sound which is caused by, or which resembles, thunder. e.g. The boy woke to brontide, harbinger of a storm.

byssiferous (adj) – having tufts or threads. e.g. The byssiferous down was far too expensive for the young woman.

C

coterminous (adj) – a thing bordering something else; having the same boundaries; coextensive (1630s). e.g. The fence of the family estate is roughly conterminous with the forest. e.g. Cosmopolitanism was coterminous with the decline of Ancient Rome.

cumberground (n) – a object or person so useless that its only function is to take up space; something that is in the way. e.g. He didn’t know what to do with the mass of metal, rust having rendered it to cumberground.

D

dealate (adj) – a insect shorn of its wings, such as after mating. e.g. A queen ant dealates after its nuptial flight.

dextrosinistral (adj) – that which passes from right to left; a left-handed person who is trained to use their right-hand with equivalent deftness. e.g. The crowd were impressed by the magician’s nibble-fingered performance, unaware he was dextrosinistral.

E

epitimesis (n) – rhetorical device for excitation, chiefly rebuke, reproach or censure; adverse criticism; epiplexis. e.g. I will not answer, your queries are pure epitimesis.

erinaceous (adj) – resembling a hedgehog. e.g. The stranger’s hair was erinaceous and dark as pitch.

F

fabrefaction (n) – the creation of a work of art. e.g. The fabrefaction of ebooks is widely considered, unfortunately, as inferior to paperbacks.

ferruginous (adj) – the color of rusted iron. e.g. Certain types of fungi create ferruginous patches on the ground.

feticide (n) – the intential destruction of a fetus. e.g. In the first month of 2021, there was more feticide from abortions than deaths from communicable disease.

G

gradin (n) – one of a tier of seats or steps along a slope, as in an amphitheatre. e.g. Without the gradin, those in the back would be hard-pressed to see anything on the stage.

H

helotage (n) – the act of creating a servile class; engendering serfdom (helots were a class of serfs in ancient Greece). e.g. Contemporary helotage is engendered by the policies of expropriation in democratic states.

hypermenesia (n) – supernormal clarity and retention of memory. e.g. “Some may call it a curse,” the detective replied demurely, “But for me, hypermenesia is a blessing.”

I

ideopraxist (n) – one who is compelled to carry out, or concretize, ideas; a person who strives to embody, or embodies, an idea. Mid 19th Century. e.g. A fanatic is always an ideopraxist, but an ideaoprxist is not necessarily a fanatic.

J

jentacular (adj) – of or pertaining to breakfast. From the Latin, ientaculum. e.g. The man’s jentacular proclivities furnished a surplus of coffee, jam and bread.

K

knout (n) – a leather scourge; or, to flog with a knout. e.g. The prisoner lay half-conscious, his back red ribboned from a lengthy application of the warden’s knout.

L

lattern (n) – a copper tin alloy, akin to bronze. e.g. Her hair was as lattern in the sun.

M

maculate (adj) – blotched, stained, impure or defiled. Antonym of immaculate (adj) – unblemished, unsullied, pure, undefiled. e.g. Wall Street is often singled out for maculate business practices.

magirology (n) – the art and science of cooking. e.g. The chocolates were unlike anything he had ever tried, surely the resulte of cutting-edge magirology.

metanoia (n) – spiritual transformation, more specifically, a conversion. 1557-. From the Greek, metanoiein. e.g. His work was the harbinger of metanoia.

N

napiform (adj) – turnip shaped, i.e. round at top, pointed and smaller at bottom. e.g. Her napiform face was surrounded by a thicket of red hair.

narcomancy (n) – sleep magic. e.g. The man sighed, exhausted, his narcomancy unsuccessful.

navicular (adj) – resembling a boat. e.g. The beast’s great, navicular body tore through the bushes in pursuit of its prey.

O

ostium (n) – maw-like aperture; a small somatic opening. e.g. The cavern’s dark ostium loomed, portal to an expansive, labyrinthian tunnel system.

osteography (n) – a descriptive treatise concerning bones. e.g. “The osteography is somewhat heavy-going, but filled with insights.”

P

philodox (n) – a person given to a high regard of their own opinions without regard to whether that opinion is correct or incorrect. e.g. He knew better than to argue, for she was an incorrigible philodox.

Q

quinquereme (n) – an ancient Roman galley with five banks of oars on each side. e.g. The shapes cut through the foggy lake; appearing, to that solitary observer, like the hulls and sails of massing quinqueremes.

quinsy (n) – severe inflammation of the tonsils, usually leading to the formation of an abcess. e.g. The quinsy would need to be removed immediately to prevent infection.

quire (n) – twenty four, or twenty five, sheets of paper of like size and quality. e.g. The clerk moved the quires so as to disencumber the table.

quirly – a hand-rolled cigarette. 1930s. e.g. “Pass me a quirly.”

quodlibet (n) a trifling philosophical or theological point proposed for disputation, and/or a disputation on such a point; or, a whimsical combination of familiar melodies or texts. e.g. “I don’t know,” Henry replied, “I’ve not the time nor interest for this cyclopean quodlibet.”

R

ramiferous (adj) – having many branches. Late 18th Century. e.g. The paths before them were ramiferous.

S

sciatheric (adj) – of, or relating to, a sundial; pertaining to measurement of time by shadows. e.g. A simple stick can, if plied by the trained mind, open a world of sciatheric activities.

scutiform (adj) – shaped like a shield. e.g. The scutiform object turned out to be a horseshoe crab.

spodogenous (adj) – caused by waste-products, particularly as regards an enlargement of the spleen caused by the waste of red blood-corpuscles. e.g. He looked with perplexity upon the spodogenous sedimentary accretion.

T

tholtan (n) – a dilapidated building. Manx origin. Theorized to have come from the Old Irish tolltach (full of holes); toll (puncture; hole). e.g. The lonely tholtan – Château de Tiffauges – stands to this day.

thurl (n) – a hole; an aperture; the hip joint of a cow. e.g. Milky thurls littered the field.

U

upstay (v) – to sustain; to support. e.g. With sufficient will, one can upstay the right course, even in adversity.

V

velation (n) – to cover something (as with a veil); to make hidden. Antonym of revelation. e.g. The velations of Alzheimer’s troubled him greatly.

virago (n) – a female that looks and acts like a male; a termagant or harpy. e.g. The profusion of the feminist virago amongst female sexual equalitarians induces me to conclude they are motivated, chiefly, by envy of the sturdier sex.

W

weirdward (adj) – bordering upon the supernatural or arcane. e.g. The weirdward journey took them to the house of starless sky.

wifgemana (v) – sexual intercourse for a woman’s parturition. Old English. Recorded in ‘Liber medicinae ex animalibus.’ e.g. wifgemanan to aweccanne. e.g. It is important to plan for fruitful wifgemana.

whereuntil (adv) – until what; until which. 1708-. e.g. Whereuntil time?

wherry (n) – a large light barge, lighter, or fishing boat, varying in type in different parts of Great Britain. e.g.

wuthering (adj) – blowing strongly with a roaring sound. 1888-. e.g. The shutters lept with the night’s wuthering.

X

xanthippe (n) – an ill-tempered woman. e.g. Rosa Luxemburg was a notorious xanthippe.

xerothermic (adj) – simultaneously hot and dry; an organism adapted to warm, arid climes. e.g.

xertz (v) – to swallow a drink swiftly. e.g. The xertzing of mayonnaise is preferable to the pestilential castigations of the polychromatic pronoun patrol.

xylary (adj) – pertaining to wood, especially xylem. e.g. The xylary handle of the ax was affixed with straps of leather.

xylem (n) – vascular plant tissue; distinct from phloëm. e.g. The plants wilted, their xylem buckling due the depredations of the mysterious disease.

Y

yarborough (n) – a hand of cards in bridge or whist in which all cards are 9 or below and devoid of aces. e.g. His face fell as he noticed the yarborough.

yelve (n) – a garden fork. 1000-1886. e.g. Farmer’s yelves moved with haste to beat the rain.

yepsen (n) – the amount of liquid that can be held in two hands cupped together; two hands cupped so as to contain liquid for drinking. e.g. He bent in yepsen pose to the water.

yuke (n) – an itch. e.g. The sweater was comprised of yukey material.

ylem (n) – in alchemy, the substance from which the elements developed. e.g. If he could untangle the mysteries of the ylem, the secrets of immortality would be within his grasp.

Z

zabernism (n) – the abuse of military force; unwarranted aggression. The word finds its origin in a event known as the Zabern Affair of 1913, in which a German soldier’s insults toward occupied Alsatians, and eventual injury of a Alsatian shoemaker, prompted a political firestorm. e.g. Many consider the American military’s Middle Eastern adventurism, on balance, zabernistic.

zoetic (adj) – living; vital; pertaining to life. e.g. The execration of Man’s zoetic impulse is, in no small part, a consequence of the depravations of environmentalism, being, as it is, a grotesquely misanthropic doctrine.

zoilist (n) – a person who takes pleasure in finding fault. e.g. The leftist ideologue’s zoilism is such that, should there be no fault to find, they will hastily invent it.

zygostatical (adj) – relating to a medieval market official in charge of official weights, which non-official weights would be compared to, so as to ensure the general fidelity of the mercantile enterprise. 1623-1656. e.g. One could hardly describe the machinations of Wall Street as zygostatical.

zumbooruk (n) – a small cannon mounted and fired from the back of a camel. e.g. Swift the riders came, their zumbooruk’s resounding across the field.

zygology (n) – the science of joining and fastening; not to be confused with zymology. e.g. He acclimated to the welding shop with ease, given his background in zygology.

~


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Liber medicinae ex animalibus / book of medicines made from animals (late 11th century or early 12th century).

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