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Unclepepsi's avatar

What is you favorite obscure word?

Asked by Unclepepsi (900points) September 15th, 2012

What is you favorite word that is not used much in daily conversation. A word that sounds neat or funny, one with a particular meaning, or just your favorite obscure word.

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50 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

Hyperbole. I think it sounds funny.

Sunny2's avatar

susurrus. It sounds like what it is when you say it. And I like the sound. Onomatopoetic?
It’s the sound of water coming in over a pebble beach.

fundevogel's avatar

I’ve got a lot but I’m going to take this moment to highlight Paralipsis

a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer invokes a subject by denying that it should be invoked

It’s a word I knew existed, but needed the Fluther community to dig up for me. I will never forget it. Come to think of it, it is most useful around election time. Add it to your vocabulary!

Astound your friends!
Mortify your enemies!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Not sure how obscure they are, but I like using cacophony and impudence lately. And nocosomial. But not as much since the Republicans left town.

Brian1946's avatar

Fencrovanemaniasis: the process by which sound is made from the friction between two moving surfaces.

At least that’s my FOW, if unrecognized neologisms are allowed. ;-)

Coloma's avatar

I like the word ” Comport.”
Not very obscure but It’s fun to say and classy.

” Please attempt to comport yourself with some measure of well manned consideration ”

I got to use it today during a rare moment of me verbally challenging a stranger who was blocking the gas pumps. I almost asked him if he could spell ” Dumbfuck!” lol

fundevogel's avatar

@Brian1946 Omg! That’s what idiophones do! You aren’t a secret daxophone player are you?
Whatever the case they’ll never mistake you for a hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobe.

ucme's avatar

so much better than all of the other answers.

Fyrius's avatar


Well, I’m not sure if it’s my favourite, but it’s a candidate at least.

flutherother's avatar

Gloaming is the period after the sun sets but before the dark sets in. It is a distinct period of time in northern countries but nearer the equator it doesn’t exist at all.

LuckyGuy's avatar


It’s a disease characterized by the wasting away or atrophy of the body or a part of the body.
We’re all familiar with the expression “Use it or lose it.. ” That’s what happens when we don’t use it.
The word also looks like a spelling error or typo and is flagged in most spell checkers.

Roby's avatar

The definition don’t seem to go with the word. It sounds more like a type of flower.

poisonedantidote's avatar


Something about the words is inviting, comfortable and kind of adventurous. It sounds like a place hobbits and dwarfs get drung before trying to sneak in to an elven orgy.

starsofeight's avatar

Picayune is my favorite, although commodious is good for a laugh. If you want the really rare, try this list:

gasman's avatar

Sesquipedalian. It’s self-referential (referring to a word of many syllables).

DrBill's avatar

Moot, I just like the sound of it.

Bill1939's avatar


Earthgirl's avatar

One of the funniest bits Dickens ever wrote. He used the word in Little Dorrit and I have loved it ever since!

“Charles Dickens wrote Little Dorrit between 1855 and 1857. The term circumlocution describes roundabout or indirect speech, or the use of many words where a few would do. The Circumlocution Office is a place of endless confusion. Forms need to be filled in to request permission to fill in more forms”

1. The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language.
2. Evasion in speech or writing.
3. A roundabout expression.

have to admit here that I am frequently guilty of this

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Augur—a soothsayer or seer of the future.

Coloma's avatar

Undulate….a sexy word. lol

Kayak8's avatar

I like eschew (as in eschew obfuscation), but I also like enervated (because it sounds like the opposite of its meaning). I always liked bespoke, but it is being used widely these days in product descriptions (for items that are not bespoke items).

gondwanalon's avatar

Imbroglio. It’s a good word to uses now and then when discussing politics.

gailcalled's avatar

Hard to pick just one. It is like choosing your favorite hair.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled What? You cannot choose your favorite hair? Mine is strand 647, 4 inches to the left of my part and 4.5 inches above my left eyebrow. lol

nettodo's avatar

Malapropism. A: It’s fun to say. B: I love listening to people make a malapropism.

Berserker's avatar

I love the word defenestration. It means throwing something out the window. Not sure why, but I just find this funny. Jason Voorhees often uses defenestration as a means of warfare. He throws corpses through windows, at least in the earlier movies.

I mean even its Wiki entry makes me chuckle.

Although defenestrations can be fatal due to the height of the window through which a person is thrown or throws oneself or due to lacerations from broken glass, the act of defenestration need not carry the intent or result of death. lol

As I understand it, defenestration doesn’t have to include a human being, at least not in modern usage. But in my Jason example, technically, he doesn’t throw the dead bodies out of the window, since he’s outside the cottage, throwing them in. Does the word still apply in such a case? I used to think it was either infenestration or fenestration, but the former doesn’t seem to be a word, and the latter means something else. Never been too sure about this…

also I don’t have a favorite weird word, I just wanted to talk about Friday the 13th XD

dxs's avatar

worcestershire sauce. twenty letters, four syllables.

josie's avatar

Inauspicious and Neferious. Always attention-getters.

glacial's avatar

@Symbeline I think that should be called enfenestration… although it probably isn’t.

I agree that there are too many to pick just one!

DominicX's avatar

“Zeugma”—both for its bizarre [Greek] sound and obscure definition. “Tmesis” is another one.

YARNLADY's avatar

Many good words have appeared here. Mine is serendipity.

Coloma's avatar

I’ll add ” fortuitous”..I use that one a lot.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

(sure there are a few more, just takes the right conversation for them to come out)

elbanditoroso's avatar


Sunny2's avatar

curmudgeon = My father.

gailcalled's avatar


boxer3's avatar


Coloma's avatar

@Sunny2 I love curmudgeon, haha…that’s one of my bosses. Grumpy and forgetful…lord, just retire already! lol

Unclepepsi's avatar

Awesome words people thanks

Bellatrix's avatar


YARNLADY's avatar


fundevogel's avatar

I’ve been enjoying “malingerer” lately. As delivered by Dylan Moran.

Strauss's avatar

I always liked the word onomatopoeia. I first heard of it in freshman English literature class when we were studying Poe’s The Bells.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m liking nucivorous nucivores. (nut eating, nut eaters)

Call ‘em what you like, but squirrels are still rats with bushy tails.

Strauss's avatar

@LuckyGuy I think that would be _Rodentiae Nucivoriae.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Since I also eat nuts I consider myself a nucivore as well.

Strauss's avatar

@LuckyGuy That’d probably make you a MacGyverensis nucivorius!

I’m also prone to nucivorian binges…just let someone open up a can of anacardium occidentalis!

GracieT's avatar

I have several, many already mentioned here. I also have several others, but of course none come to mind.

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