Thursday, October 07, 2010

Word(s) of the Day

Are You a Hypocoristic Nincompoop?

A coos to B: Honey bunny, sugar sunshine... I can't live a minute without you!
Observer C answers: Oh shut up, you hypocoristic nincompoop!

The above dialogue is an example for the use of the word 'hypocorism' - today's word of the day (thank you for providing the 'did you know' links, which are making me search for more unique words). The following definition of 'hypocorism' is taken from

[hahy-pok-uh-riz-uhm, hi-]

1. a pet name.
2. the practice of using a pet name.
3. the use of forms of speech imitative of baby talk, esp. by an adult.

When Beauty Doesn't Sound Like Beauty

When you hear the word 'pulchitudinous', what comes to your mind? For me, the image of something revolting and pungent with a hint of pettiness conjures up in my head (don't ask me why I see this, I just do).  So would you be surprised that the word actually means physical beauty? (not counting those who've already heard of this word prior)

[puhl-kri-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-]

physically beautiful; comely.

So if your suitor says "I think you are the epitome of a pulchritudinous being", don't go ballistic on him! Instead, smile sheepishly and run off to look it up in a dictionary... and then you will find that it is a compliment like no other!

Step Aside, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Looks like Mary Poppins famous song is not the longest word after all! This 34-letter-long English word roughly translates to 'atoning for educability through delicate beauty' where the breakdown (according to Wikipedia) is as follows:
super - "above"
cali - "beauty"
fragilistic - "delicate"
expiali - "to atone"
docious - "educable"
Well, move over "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", its time for the longest word in the dictionary to take its limelight - "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis"! However, the meaning of this word isn't so noble like the former.

[noo-muh-noh-uhl-truh-mahy-kruh-skop-ik-sil-i-koh-vol-key-noh-koh-nee-oh-sis, nyoo-]

an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language.

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