Slubberdegullion by Uncommon Parlance

Slubberdegullions are primarily nocturnal creatures, found in the vicinity of bars and watering holes. They emit a palpable sense of danger, often smell like cigarettes and cumin and their ham-fists clench and unclench in incessant impotent fury. At closing time they stumble out into the street to threaten each other.
A Slubberdegullion is a filthy, slobbering, slovenly villain; a worthless alcoholic ne’er do well; a knave, a louse. Etymology: from English Slobber, + unknown suffix, but there are some theories on its provenance here.

“The veins traced a fine scarlet filigree across his swollen, purple nose. Behind the gin blossoms, the Slubberdegullion’s eyes burned with malevolence. ”

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Mordacious by Uncommon Parlance

Owner of a vicious pet, or feral baby? Harassed by a bilious critic with a penchant for vituperation? Then you, dear reader, might have recourse to use the word Mordacious. Mordacious means given to biting and can also be used metaphorically to refer to caustic or viciously sarcastic comment. Etymology: from Latin, mordax (given to biting, corrosive).

“Mister Peet surveyed the wreckage of the drawing room. Feathers and stuffing fell soft like snow. An overturned desk spilled its contents onto the floor. Table legs wore tooth-marks, chairs had been chewed and the teak card table had been gnawed and slobbered beyond repair. The new hounds, Rex and Absalom were clearly unruly and mordacious beasts.”

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Deliquesce by Uncommon Parlance

When Hamlet prayed: “O that this too too sullied flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew”, he was formulating the most famous invocation of deliquesence in the English language. Come to think of it, perhaps the wicked witch of the West’s cries of “I’m melting” are more celebrated. Either way, to deliquesce is to become liquid by absorbing water from the air, or melt into goo as part of the process of decomposition. Etymology: from Latin deliquescere, de-, (down, from, away) + liquescere (to melt, to be fluid).

“In time, the flesh and vegetable matter deliquesced. The earth swallowed the rich, loamy slime, then sent forth a kaleidescope of flowers. In a haze of heady scents, and surrounded by this multicoloured wreath, Anselmo’s bones were bleached by the sun.”

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Uncommon Parlance: Glabrous

Glabrous is a fat, ugly sounding disyllabic – and yet it slips satisfyingly from the mouth. The antithesis of hirsuteness, it is the logophile’s alternative to bald. Glabrous refers to a smooth, a surface without hairs or projections. Etymology: from Latin glaber (bald, hairless).

“By the age of fourteen, Omar stood at a man’s full height and his upper lip bore a dark and lustrous moustache. The other boys, shamed by their glabrous jowls and chins, avoided him.”

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Theomeny from Uncommon Parlance

Have you been stricken with a plague of locusts? Do deities lob lightening bolts in at your person? Or have you been chained to a rock, Prometheus style, with a vulture snacking on your liver? Then you, dear reader, may be suffering from Theomeny. Theomeny is the wrath of god. Get on the wrong side of a vengeful divine being and you’ll know all about it. Etymology, from greek Theos (god) + -men (suffix signifying action).

“Rameses placed a hand over his mouth and nose. The Nile was the colour of blood and its waters carried the carcasses of fish who showed their bellies to the sky. The stench was appalling. He sighed. All this theomeny was a real drag.”

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Ambisinister by Uncommon Parlance

Why say clumsy, bungling or awkward when ambisinister is crying out to be used? Sure, ham-fisted conjures up comic images of meaty, porcine digits; but for an upmarket dolt who’s all thumbs, a more latinate turn of phrase may be required. Being ambisinistrous is the manual equivalent of having two left feet, literally meaning having two left hands. Etymology: from Latin ambi (both) + sinister (on the left side).

“Calvin struggled to get the key in the lock. The noise behind him was now deafening, but he dared not turn and look. The key danced around the lock, refusing to enter. Fear made his fingers knotted and stupid. Terror rendered him ambisinister.”

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Uncommon Parlance's Epanorthosis

Have you ever expressed a thought, experienced dissatisfaction with the expression and so immediately qualified or taken back the initial statement? In that case, you have engaged in epanorthosis. Epanorthosis is an act of verbal retraction. No wait! It’s an immediate and emphatic self-correction. Knowingly employed, Epanorthotic statements are powerful rhetorical devices. Unwittingly used, they often reveal an indecisive mind or a soul at war with itself. Etymology from Greek Epanorthosis (to set straight again), from epi (upon) + ana (again) + orthosis (make straight).

“Lady Melville swooned and insisted it was a disaster. Presently she came to and reconsidered her prognosis; the loss of her brooch was now a tragedy. Tiring of his wife and her damned brooch, Lord Melville paid the epanorthosis little heed.”

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A poetaster is a writer of insipid verse, a creator of rotten rhymes, a bad poet. The word carries delightful implications of misplaced pretentions to literary value. Coined in Latin by Erasmus, it was first used by Ben Jonson in 1600, and popularised as the title of his 1601 play, the Poetaster. Etymology: from Latin potea (poet) + aster (suffix that denotes a partial resemblance to, or inferiority).

“With self-awareness born of self-indulgence, Gregory examined his writings and realised that he stood on the border between adolescence and adulthood. He was a poetaster and not a poet. He read his words one last time, as if through a glass darkly, and then put the childish things behind him.”

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Uncommon Parlance: Epicaricacy

Sometimes schadenfreude just won’t do. In this case you need Epicaricacy, a much fancier and less teutonic word to describe taking sadistic joy in the misfortune of others. If you’re going to be engaging in delectatio morosa, you definitely need Epicaricacy in your vocabulary. It’s an Aristotelian term from a continuum of virtues and emotions; where Nemesis is a righteous negative response to another’s undeserved good fortune, Phthonos is pain caused by the good fortune of others, and Epicaricacy is a gloating pleasure in another’s ill fortune. Etymology: from the Greek: ἐπιχαιρεκακία, epi (upon) + kharis (joy) + kakos (evil).

“The view from the gallows revealed the mob in all its horror. Wyatt felt the rough fibres of the rope on his neck and wondered how a simple lynching could reduce men to a mass of bloodlust, drunkenness and epicaricacy.”

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Ever get the shivers? The willies? Did someone walk over your grave? Then, dear reader, you can proudly proclaim: “I have just horripilated.” To horripilate is to experience the involuntary goosebumpy shivering of ones timbers that happens from time to time. Its rippling sequence of Rs, Ps and Ls is a delightfully onomatopoeic representation of the physical phenomenon. Etymology: from the Latin: horripilatus to bristle with hairs, horrere (to bristle) + pilus (hair).

“The crone ran her filthy fingernail along the doll’s spine. Back on his plantation, Lord Chelmsford horripilated.”

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