April 2018

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer #15: My Sistah Jenn, the Logophile

Summer #15: My sister Jenn is a logophile, too, though she often mispronounces her favorite new words. She keeps an excellent list of new words on her computer. You can tell a lot about a person by reading their vocabulary list. OUr favorite word for the week was Schadenfreude, pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune; joy in the misery of another. Here are some of my other favorites:

Estivate – aestivate; estivation – summer sleep; a state of animal dormancy similar to hibernation
Steatopygia – behind (as in rear end) fat
Empyreal – formed of light or fire
Sybaritic – fond of sensuous luxury or pleasure; self-indulgent
Palaver – prolonged and idle discussion
Pellucid – translucently clear
Bounder – a dishonorable man
Sequacious – lacking independence or originality of thought
Sedulous – showing dedication and diligence
Tumid – swollen; figurative (especially of language or literary style) pompous or bombastic
Cwm – a cirque (a half-open steep-sided hollow at the head of a valley or on a mountain, formed by a glacial erosion), esp. one in the mountains of Wales, [a useful word for Scrabble]
Polymath – a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
Pilose – covered with long soft hairs
Hypnagogic – of or relating to the state immediately before falling asleep
Violaceous – of a violet color
Insouciance – casual lack of concern; indifference
Dysphoria – a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life
Bumptious – self-assertive or proud to an irritating degree
Limpid – (of a liquid) free of anything that darkens; completely clear; (of a person’s eyes) unclouded, completely clear; (esp. of a writing or music) clear and accessible or melodious
Protean – tending or able to change frequently or easily; able to do many different things; versatile
Roman a clef – a novel in which real people or events appear with invented names
Jolie laide – a woman whose face is attractive, despite having ugly features. Pretty-ugly.
Coup de foudre – instant mad love
Friable – easily crumbled

Although she has an excellent vocabulary and a law degree and is a very smart person, Sistah Jenn doesn't really have the patience for Scrabble. We played a game at the beach, and at the end she told me, “You shouldn't use a howitzer when a hand grenade will do.” Today, I shared Sistah Jenn's wisdom with my father when he was playing my twelve year-old nephew, to no effect. Jack did use the word “tinea,” very impressive in terms of vocabulary but only six points on the board. When Jack had to go play tennis, I agreed to finish his game for him. True to form, Dad beat the pants off of me, though when he was way ahead he let “wifey” pass. Scrabble generosity.
My friend Rose and I once played what I thought was a friendly game of Scrabble, until I noticed that she was blocking my moves, clearly playing more competitively than I had thought we were playing. I went out with a seven letter word on a triple word score. Howitzer. Don't tread on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please comment: I'd love to hear your thoughts!