Words I have learned
When I was in high school and even more insufferable than I am now, a friend and I started a tumblr called “sun words”. The concept of this was to collect words that we discovered that were particularly succulent or mellifluous. 1
I have found myself learning more and more words recently. This is fun and good: I was worried for a while that my days of adapting and playing with the English language were largely behind me. I thought it would be interesting and illustrative to collect a list of the words I’ve learned recently alongside the sources from which I’ve gleaned them.
When I first started building this catalog, I expected the plurality to be from the NYT crossword 2, and the data appears to bear that out:
|The NYT Crossword||32|
|Books I’ve read||38|
a strict disciplinarian, especially in the armed forces.
a fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.
a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it
a person who writes essays, particularly on literary and artistic criticism, that are composed and read primarily for their aesthetic effect
the sphere or realm of human consciousness
a group of cats
a scrap or remainder of food from a meal
a divine creative impulse or inspiration
to divest of sacred qualities or status
snoring; hardly breathing
the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between seemingly unrelated things
refusal to submit to established authority
a tall chest of drawers, often with a mirror on top.
strip (something) of its covering, possessions, or assets; make bare
a pestering, nagging, or irritating person; a bore.
make (rays of light or particles) accurately parallel
a flammable oil
craziness; senseless behavior or activity
the point of the celestial sphere from which the solar system is moving
able to undergo nuclear fission; easily split
to nag someone about paying a debt
having a sufficient number of members to constitute a quorum
a form of betting in which those backing the first three places divide the losers’ stakes
the compulsion to write
the person who inherits or is entitled to inherit property upon the termination of the life estate of the former owner
a lover of rain
relating to or denoting a curve or surface which is closed and can be drawn or swept out in a single movement
the principle in Jewish law that the preservation of human life overrides virtually any other religious rule. When the life of a specific person is in danger, almost any mitzvah lo ta’aseh of the Torah becomes inapplicable
bake an egg without its shell
a hard igneous rock containing crystals, usually of feldspar, in a fine-grained, typically reddish groundmass.
needlessly wordy or redundant (“I heard it with my own ears”)
the state of being normally responsive to and in harmony with the environment
the commercially valueless material in which ore is found
the part of the fruit formed from the wall of the ripened ovary
harshness of tone or manner
a short-handled riding whip with a braided leather lash
the condition or state of something being cryptic
someone who is irrationally afraid of cats
a person, such as a monk or nun, who has made vows of dedication to religious service
to heat something and allow it to cool slowly, in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it.
an inhabitant of a town or borough with full rights of citizenship
the reversion of property to the state on the owner’s dying without legal heirs
an entertaining and rousing speech
the process of exact thinking
a beneficed member of the clergy; a rector or a vicar
swimming or afloat
a covering protecting plants or perishables from rough temperatures or weather
a state or condition of sluggishness, inactivity, or torpor exhibited by reptiles
report or represent in outline
a feeling of offense or deep resentment
related to the north; northern
a sail designed specifically for sailing off the wind
a unit of cognitive information inside the brain
an embryonic leaf in seed-bearing plants
denoting an animal with gray/silvery hair
an example or instance of a word/phrase at a date earlier than previously known
the battlements of a castle or other building
a small or slender fiber
the action of bending or the condition of being bent
a hinged surface in the trailing edge of an airplane wing, used to control lateral balance
the making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation; slander.
a miniscule or slight vibration
to bungle (ie a task)
relating to hairdressing
whispering, murmuring, or rustling.
of or pertaining to gravity
a tunnel carrying a stream or open drain under a road or railroad
an inquisitive and gossipy person
feel happy and proud
be able to connect, communicate, or exchange data
an unstable subatomic particle of the same class as an electron
an assembly of all the members of a group or committee
boastful or inflated talk or behavior.
aiming at peace
a specialist in geometry (i.e. for mapmaking or exploration)
to discharge, as from the body; void (opposed to ingest)
feeling or expressing great sorrow or distress.
a type of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor in free autorotation to develop lift
a newborn child
an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its center
the retention of juvenile features in the adult animal
new or modern; recent
a procedure for restoring normal heart rhythm
mild and peaceful
hard to interpret; enigmatic
strike and rebound
exerting a detrimental effect on later generations through the inheritance of undesirable characteristics
rich with, covered in, or heavily producing oil or grease
root out and destroy completely
the hard white fat on the kidneys and loins of cattle, sheep, and other animals, used to make foods including puddings, pastry, and mincemeat
the entrails and internal organs of an animal used as food.
a single cell or cytoplasmic mass containing several nuclei, formed by fusion of cells or by division of nuclei
a cable railroad, especially one on a mountainside, in which ascending and descending cars are counterbalanced.
leading to salvation
a book containing the texts used in the Catholic Mass throughout the year
an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory
(relating to a woman’s appearance) dirty and untidy
concerning, belonging to, or inhabiting the underworld.
a person who enjoys watching activity on the canals of the United Kingdom
the doctrine of salvation
a difficult choice from three options, each of which is (or appears) unacceptable or unfavourable
relating to nourishment or sustenance.
a non-technical edema
a low dam built across a river to raise the water level upstream
naturally accompanying or associated
a person who appears to enjoy being depressed, esp a performer of or listener to gloomy music
economic independence or self-sufficiency
turn or slide violently or uncontrollably in a particular direction.
potentially marketable as a toy or having merchandising potential
having a strong urge to write
a species of large antelopes
a small enclosure or booth in a theatre or arena
to laugh loudly or immoderately
the last six lines of a sonnet
seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations.
invent excuses to avoid a task; shirk.
a carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends
kettledrums, especially when played by one musician in an orchestra
a type of raccoon with a long snout and a striped tail
know-it-all, wiseguy, wiseacre, smart aleck
a miscellaneous collection of things
a place for studying
carried reference book
short, witty aphorism
strange; unfamiliar; marvelous
a ski run of compacted snow.
native to the place where found (ant. allochthonous)
a floating piece of ice detached from an iceberg.