Wednesday, February 4, 2009



Unusual but cool sounding, interesting words to occasionally sprinkle into your writing.

Suggestion: Go very gently and wisely, lest you risk over-spicing your prose to point of the reader’s irritation.

Oblique—Slanting; expressed indirectly, not going straight to the point.

Ablution—A ritual cleansing. This can literally be a bath, or, more commonly, a spiritual purification. Vestal virgins probably engage in this kind of activity, since they have a lot of time on their hands.

Nonplussed—Completely perplexed.

Scurrilous—Incredibly abusive, obscenely nasty. Villains are guilty of scurrilous deeds.

Puerile—Juvenile, immature.

Acrimony—Biting sharpness or bitterness. It’s used to describe words, attitude, or disposition, not food. Old coffee is bitter; hostile divorces lead to acrimony between partners.

Runtish—An undersized person or animal.

Fey—Showing unnaturally high spirits, playful, mischievous, having a strange, otherworldly charm.

Besotted—Mentally stupefied, especially from drink.

Scabrous—Covered with small bumps, rough, sometimes a bit slimy or scaly; full of difficulties; scandalous, lacking in delicacy, salacious.

Final Caution: Before you unveil these words in public, look them up in your dictionary, learn all the different shades of meaning and uses, and roll them around on your tongue—and inside your head—until they feel comfortable to you.

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