Oddball Words

Rescued from a recycling bin by Yours truly: a dog-eared copy of a book by Paul Dickson called Words: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Old and New, Weird and Wonderful, Useful and Outlandish. How could the writer in me resist a book with a title like that? Leafing through it, I found that the book more than fulfilled its lengthy title: It contained a ton of strange and strangely fascinating words.

Among its chapters: “Magic Words,” “Prophetic Words,” “Word words,” and “Soused Synonyms: Exactly 2, 231 Words and Phrases for Drunk.” After spinning through the book, I decided that one of my favorite chapters is called “Human Conditions: A Congregation of beliefs, Customs, and States.” Here are a few terms to jiggle your brain cells:

Agathism: “Belief that everything works toward ultimate good, no matter what the short-term consequences.”

Anomie: “A situation in which a society is not governed by the norms that generally regulate behavior. A period of upheaval and disorganization.”

Autolatry: “Worship of oneself.”

Bardolatry: “Excessive worship of Shakespeare.”

Eunomia: “The state of being well governed.”

Floromancy: “The belief that flowers have feelings and will respond to kindness
as well as cruelty.”

Hylozoism: “The belief that all matter has life.”

Jumboism: “The admiration of things simply because of their largeness”

Kleptocracy: “Government by Thieves.”

Pantisocracy: “Situation in which all are truly equal and all govern: a Utopian ideal.”

Pelagianism: “Belief in the basic goodness of nature, including human nature. Named for a heretic of the fifth century named Pelagius.”

Timocracy: “The ideal state in which the love of honor is the ruling principle.”

How about trying a few of these the next time you play Scrabble with friends? Write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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