Category Archives: Word of the week

Word of the week, 10th April

Today’s word was suggested by a friend for its superb pronunciation.


Thr-awl-dom; noun; serving or enslaved.

Rolling the “r” on this word makes it very satisfying to say. They also use it in the US TV adaptation of the Game of Thrones novel series when talking about their enslaved salt wives, and everyone loves a salt wife in thrall.

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Word of the week, 3rd April


Pek-sni-fee-un; adjective; affecting one’s moral principles or benevolence.

This wonderfully theatrical word originates from Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, after the character Seth Pecksniff. I don’t think it serves quite as well in conversation as it does written down; it’s the kind of word you read and can only enjoy after double checking in your head that you really understand its meaning and context. Pausing for this long in conversation would be at least a little awkward.

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Word of the week, 28th March

This week’s word isn’t particularly uncommon, but it’s one I love the sound of.


Soo-per-floo-us; adjective; excessive and unecessary.

I think I like the sound of this word for the emphasis on the “per” bit, because when you say “super” you emphasise the “soo” bit, and that reminds me of soup. Not that I don’t like soup, but it’s not really super. And it’s fun to say “floo-us”.

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Word of the week, 20th March

Today I asked the editor at my work placement what her favourite word is.


Ver-ih-sih-mih-lih-tyood; noun; the appearance of truth.

Sometimes you just like a word and have no explanation why, but I like this word because it has many syllables. I think having too many syllables is why some words go out of use, people are too lazy to say all of it. Just look at how “t”‘s have been dropped across the English language. Thank goodness for words like verisimilitude.

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Word of the week, 13th March

This week’s word is the complete antithesis of this website:


Ad-oks-oh-gr-fee; noun; Detailed and in-depth writing on an unimportant topic.

This word has much potential for everyday use; just look through newspapers after an uneventful week. Because pages need to be filled, all sorts of rubbish gets thrown in. Some might say that a lot of what is studied in school is adoxography.
So there we have it: Adoxography, a very useful word for the modern world.

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Word of the week, 6th March

A post on time! I’ve found a neat little site, Wordnik, that lists pretty much every word ever and allows you to make lists of your favourite words. The downside is that there are a lot of American spellings, and I’m pretty sure a few made-up words have gotten in. But I found this today:


Per-ruh-heel-yee-un; noun; The shortest distance from the sun a planet or comet has in orbit to it.

There’s not a lot of room for everyday use (unless your work involves talking about space and planets of course, in which case you probably use it anyway. Sorry.) but it’s got a great sound, especially if you can roll your R’s. Perrrrrrrihelion. Lovely.

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Word of the week, 2nd March

Firstly, my sincerest apologies for this delayed post. I’ve been getting myself all psyched for my placement at Life Media Group, and as such have been forgetting to check the site as regularly as I should. But enough of my personal ramblings.

BBC Radio 4 broadcast a show on Thursday about “The Meaning of Liff”, a book by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. It lists words, usually place names, for things most people (especially in Britain) experience and have no words for. It’s a very humourous little book, and finding this word reminded of it:


Fah-see-shee; noun; witty writings or remarks.

It’s a nice short word, is useful, and includes that lovely “tiae” spelling.

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Word of the week, 20th February

Today’s word was found on an awesome website, Brain Pickings, where I find myself increasingly spending time reading about writers, writing and, occasionally, science-y things.


In-fan-duh-s; noun; too offensive to talk about or express.

This is a word that, for some reason, has never stuck around for long. It has been seen used in old letters, or back in 2009 where Canada used it to describe George Galloway, but it’s not remained in popular use for long.

I honestly don’t understand why this isn’t in popular use. It’s useful, not complicated to spell or say, and makes a great insult.

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Word of the week, 14th February

Believe it or not, I did not purposely delay this week’s word of the week to coincide with Valentine’s day (cue groans or sighs). But seeing as we’re here, here’s a couple of words to woo a potential lover and make yourself seem all that bit more cultured.


In-ah-mer-rah-tah; noun; a female sweetheart or lover.


In-ah-mer-ah-toe; noun; a male sweetheart or lover.

These are, unsurprisingly, of Italian origin from around the late 1500s to early 1600s. I don’t suppose many people use them these days, but they do sound just a tad more romantic than the British colloquial “bird” and “bloke”.

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Word of the week, 6th February

I found this word just today and thought it may be particularly useful when I stick myself into the world of subbing as a real, full-time, paid job.


Long-ih-low-kwen-ce; noun; a long-winded way of saying things.

When I was practicing subbing in my journalism lessons, I would be given old pieces of student work and pieces by the lower years (suckers). It’s quite interesting to see how people’s styles change over time, in particular how much more descriptive the classes seem to write the newer they are.

My task was to take the pieces of work and a pre-set layout, and make it all fit. The problem with doing this is that you also have to neaten up the copy, sometimes having to delete chunks of text because it’s full of longiloquence. While it’s wonderful to be able to write things in so much detail, in news writing it’s often unnecessary and needs to be chopped down.

Hurrah for useful words!

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