Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Poe Week: Word Wednesday

Edgar Allan Poe was fond of what we would consider to be obscure vocabulary.  He was highly educated with an enormous vocabulary (compared to modern writers) and knowledge of many languages.  These are just a few of the words he used that nobody seems to use anymore (alas).  Just for fun, try to use one in conversation today!

abeyance - suspension of activity
abstruse - hard to understand
acrid - sharp and unpleasant in scent or flavor
amatory - relating to expressing sexual love
bagatelle - short piano piece
beldame - old woman
cassock - long cloak worn by clergy
charnel - room or building in which bodies are deposited

dint - by force of/because of
disinter - dig up a body
eidolon - the astral double of a living being
eclat - ostentatious desplay
ennui - boredom
epigram - a witty saying
escritoire - a writing desk
fetid - having an offensive smell
fustian - excessively embellished
gendarme - a police officer
girting - encircling
ichor - a thin watery discharge
immolation - to be killed as a sacrifice (in fire)
impunity - freedom from punishment
laconic - of very few words, concise
lethe - the river of forgetfulness that flows through Hades
mendicants - homeless beggars
moiety - a bit of something, half of something
non-plussed - perplexed
occiput - the rear of the skull
pall - the heavy cloth draped over a coffin
palliative - reducing the severity of an illness
quaff - to drink deeply
raconteur - a good story teller
recusant - one who refuses to accept authority
stertorous - characterized by a loud gasping noise
taper - candle
trepanning - primitive brain surgery where a hole is drilled in the skull to reduce cranial pressure
torpid - numb
vestige - a visible sign left by something
viand - item of food
wan - pallid, faint, in poor health
wont - a habitual way of doing something (noun)

The Lonely Alchemist

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