Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What was the last new word that left you gobsmacked?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (36563points) 1 month ago

I just read an essay in the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. The author was talking about how his friendship with a now famous artist began in the 50s at a teacher’s college in Kentucky.

He used the word abecedary, and for the first time in yonks, I had to put down the magazine and look it up. The teachers college was a clue, but I couldn’t get the meaning from context.

My first grade teacher in 1969 would have known it. Mrs. Purdue was old, and she retired after that year.

When was the last time you had to stop everything to look up a word?

What was it?

It’s ok if to look up the word all you had to do was highlight it on a screen. That counts.

Abecedary stopped me in my tracks. Have you been stopped dead recently?

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23 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Disingenerous. (Sp). Pretending to know less than one does.

flutherother's avatar

I regularly look up words on my kindle. I looked up “dispositive” last night. It is a legal term meaning relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue or the disposition of property. The author explained the word but I looked it up anyway, just to check.

janbb's avatar

Psst, @RedDeerGuy1 It’s spelled “disingenuous.”

Response moderated
RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Disingenuous. Thanks @janbb

janbb's avatar

“Gobsmacked” always leaves me gobsmacked but it’s not new to me.

smudges's avatar

LOL “Yonks” and I’ll bet you said that just to make me/us look it up! Also, abecedary!

kritiper's avatar

“Woke.” It seems that lots of people don’t understand it’s new meaning. It took me a while to figure it out completely.

zenvelo's avatar

I am no abecedarian, but I am familiar with that word and its roots. I am not shy about looking up a new word, but most of the time it is a word I am introduced to through something like “A-Word-A-Day” or a similar source.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@zenvelo Give us a word. Try us.

zenvelo's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Since you are conversant in Japanese, perhaps you know the ikigai has been adopted into English?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I know that one, but only because of the adoption. It’s not used in everyday conversation. I suppose it’s not used in everyday conversation in English-speaking places either.

rebbel's avatar

Think I heard it in a court case.
Had to look it up.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I looked up usery.

Jeruba's avatar

I happen to be reading a book by an Irish author. Man, Irish slang is something else. A lot of looking up.

Acrylic's avatar


RedDeerGuy1's avatar

A friend said that I traded my childhood in exchange for Pan-cosmic knowledge. I just watched tv and played Nintendo. Unless you count watching hours of news with my grandfather.

smudges's avatar

ikigai = icky guy?

RayaHope's avatar

Well I like this question because first I had to look up gobsmacked. I look up words pretty much daily here. You guys use words I never seen or at least never use. A couple times I guessed on the meaning and was terribly wrong…

LostInParadise's avatar

I came across the word tatty playing Wordle.

raum's avatar

Kind of funny to admit. But the last word I looked up was from a kids book.


zenvelo's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 It is spelled usury,

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