New Discoveries from the Vocab Vault


The expanding of one’s vocabulary is a pursuit I consider very important and I’m not just saying this in reference to writing. Even during those particular times in my life when I never entertained thoughts of being a writer, I can still remember keeping a special ‘dictionary’ – created from an ordinary exercise book, where I wrote down any new words I came across and its meaning.

I get very excited when I discover a new word, especially if it sounds weird or comical. I’ll write it down in the hopes that I might get to use it later on. Often this does not happen. Still, it doesn’t hurt to learn a new word. Every newly discovered word is like a brand new gold coin being added to the treasure trove that is your own personal vocabulary.

So, over the past few months, I have stumbled across quite a few weird and wonderful words. Maybe you’ve come across them before or maybe you haven’t, either way I thought I’d share them with you…

Augury. I’ve seen this word so many times but I never knew what it meant. It means the same as an omen or prophecy, a sign of things to come. Its verb, ‘augur’, is not to be confused with ‘auger’, the digging tool for making holes in the ground.

Clubbable (yes this is a word). Adjective. Stranger still, was how I found this term. I was actually looking for a noun that meant someone who was sociable and a party animal (and liked to go clubbing). I looked up ‘sociable’ and found gregarious. On searching ‘gregarious’, I found clubbable, which means “sociable and popular”. Go figure!

Dipsomaniac. Noun. I don’t particularly like the word ‘drunkard’. I wasn’t aware of any other synonyms for it so I searched for another term that meant ‘inebriated’ and low and behold, I came across this gem of a noun! So ladies, if a drunken fool heckles you in a bar, call him a dipsomaniac and tell him to bugger off!!

Jingoistic.  Adjective. This means someone who is excessively supportive of something (I would think similar to fanaticism). In the OED, esp.derog (especially derogatory) is written next to the word so be cautious if you are using this to describe anybody!

Jiggery-pokery. Noun. I thought this was so cute, meaning dishonest behavior. A typically British word but I have no idea how to use this in a sentence. I actually found this in the dictionary by accident while searching for another j-word. Ten brownie-points to the person who can come up with the most original way of employing it in a sentence!

Misanthrope. Noun. I absolutely love this word. I’ve been using it a lot lately for some reason. It means a person who dislikes and avoids other people, not unlike an antisocial recluse.

Cornucopia.  Noun.  I saved this for last as it is my favourite word at the moment. It means an abundant supply of good things.
Comes from a Latin phrase meaning ‘horn of plenty’ and therefore it’s the name given to the famous symbol:  the goat’s horn overflowing with the bounties of nature (see picture).

So, have YOU discovered any funky new words lately?
Oh, do share them in the comments section below, and who knows, maybe I’ll make the Vocab Vault a regular feature on this blog… 🙂

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22 thoughts on “New Discoveries from the Vocab Vault

  1. beckyday6 says:

    It’s funny that you mentioned Cornucopia because I just came across the word myself in the Hunger Games books, but I didn’t know what it meant so thanks! You learn something new everyday 🙂
    I’ve always liked the word discombobulated or discombobulate because I love the way it sounds when you say it. It means to confuse hehe.

    • Nisha says:

      When I was searching for an image, Hunger Games kept turning up and I couldn’t understand why!! Ah, coincidences. 😀

      Oh dear, I can see myself messing that word up! “Discom-what???” He he 😉 Nice one though.

  2. trixfred30 says:

    Try discombobulation. If you don’t know what that means try Blackadder. (the third).

    • Nisha says:

      Becky already mentioned discombobulate, seems like a really popular word! That reminds me, I really must get myself the DVDs of the Blackadder series *Nisha makes mental note*

      • trixfred30 says:

        So she did. I must read these things before I hit the wine. And anyway I got it wrong. That word isn’t even in that episode; these are:

        contrafribblarities
        anuspeptic,
        phrasmotic,
        compunctious
        pericombobulation.

      • Nisha says:

        Of course, when in doubt blame the wine! 😀 LOL!

        Anuspeptic? That sounds painful! Ouch!

        Ps. Check out my reply to Nelle: we need a recipe for Bubble and squeak…

  3. nelle says:

    I love love love words, new, old, unofficial and playful. For instance, the plural of moose is moose, but I love to say mooses because it amuses me. That said, like you, there are times when a standard word just won’t do, yet of all the choices listed in a thesaurus, sometimes it takes following a bit of a trail to find one that rolls just right in a particular sentence.

    One of these days, I am going to use the British verb ‘hoover’ in a story, my current favourite, right up there with ‘bubble and squeak’.

    Awwright, I’ll give a try…

    The lengthy spreadsheet befuddled and frustrated inexperienced forensic researcher Jasmine, who failed to find the jiggery-pokery she knew lurked in the password protected document.

    • Nisha says:

      Yay!! Ten brownie points go to Nelle!!!

      Ahhhh, ‘bubble and squeak’….. makes you feel for a plate of tasty potato, cabbage and veggies doesn’t it? 😀 Maybe we can get trixfred to give us a recipe;)
      I also tend to use ‘hoover’ as a noun, as a synonym for a vacuum cleaner but I’m wondering now if it is actually a noun. Hmmmmm…

      I say we change the plural of ‘moose’ to ‘meese’ as in, goose and geese. We need to get some uniformity going here in our English language… Ha ha! 😛

  4. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who keeps a special dictionary 😀

    I just learned the meaning of the word pulchritudinous today. I was really surprised by its definition:
    pul·chri·tu·di·nous   [puhl-kri-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-] Show IPA
    adjective
    physically beautiful; comely.

    From the sound of it I thought it’s supposed to have a negative meaning, but it’s not. It’s special :O

    • Nisha says:

      I actually knew the meaning of that. *pats shoulder and takes a bow*
      I studied Latin, and ‘puella pulchra est’ is a common phrase that I learnt, meaning: The girl is beautiful.
      But I agree, it doesn’t have the most pleasant pronounciation but still a cool word nevertheless… 😀

  5. Terrific post, Nisha. I’ve learned a bunch of new urban words lately, if that counts. 😉 Natalie Hartford (www.nataliehartford.com) features them on Wednesdays. Her latest: masterbaceous. Hmm… Need I say more??

    • Nisha says:

      Okaaayy…I’m not even going to venture a guess at what that means, ha ha 😉 Is that really a word though August? Because I can’t find it in my OED or on Google…

  6. Barb says:

    the “Words” game on face book doesn’t penalize players for guessing. So folks are learning new words. The game doesn’t tell them what the words mean, so unless they look them up, they don’t know how to use the word. Thanks for the jiggery-pokery noun.

  7. jenniferneri says:

    Oh, I always wanted to be that person, underlining, highlighting, keeping track of new words. And I did try a few times, but I never had the patiene to stick with it. I preffer to learn through osmosis. lol
    jiggery-pokery, huh? totally sounds made up!

    • Nisha says:

      “I prefer to learn through osmosis” – Ha ha, that’s classic!! 😀

      Oh, I assure you, its definitely a word. If not, then I think the people behind the OED are up to some jiggery-pokery!! Hey, I used it in a sentence, woo hoo!! 😉

  8. mj monaghan says:

    I love words. Very interesting list you have there, Nisha!

  9. Very interesting post, I believe you should do it every so often, now I know where to come when I need another word. I had read the post but didn’t get a chance to come and like it and comment to now.

    I believe I love to the J words you shared with us. God Bless 🙂

    • Nisha says:

      No problem PJ, feel free to stop by whenever you like! Glad you liked the j-words I listed; I myself, have a thing for q-words, none of which, I realised, are featured on this list! Definitely next time on the Vocab Vault… 😉

  10. My all-time favorite is “murklins,” which means “in the dark.” For example, “I was walking murklins to the bathroom last night and stepped on a lego.”

    Another fun one for its specificity is “defenestrate,” which means, “to throw out a window.”

    Finally, am I a terrible person for thinking of baby seals when I see the word “clubbable”?

    • Nisha says:

      OH!! ha ha, baby seals, Jessica you’re too funny. I won’t tell anyone, I promise… 😉

      I never heard of murklins before, that’s a good one. Though I must admit that it sounds like the name of a person/child/pet when you used it in your sentence!
      I can see myself using ‘defenestrate’, thanks for those cool words…

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