As all good book nerds know, today marks the 127th anniversary of the Oxford Dictionary (which we totally knew about before The History Channel told us). Widely considered the most comprehensive and accurate guide to the English language, the Oxford Dictionary has proved to be an invaluable resource to students, scholars and bloggers suffering writers block since it was crafted by London’s Philological Society in 1884.
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the only dictionary to provide a chronological history of every word and phrase listed- all 59 million of them! That’s a lot of words. In fact, when the OED first became available online, scholars calculated that it would take a single person over 120 years to type up all the entries.
In the spirit of promoting literacy, the PrettiGeeky girls have assembled a list of our favorite words and definitions (not quite 59 million of them) for you reading pleasure!
Chartreuse- a clear, light green color with a yellowish tinge.
Not only is chartreuse my favorite color in fashion and décor, but it has a intoxicating secondary definition as well. Chartreuse is an aromatic green liqueur made by Carthusian monks at Grenoble, France. The drink isn’t common in the United States (probably because it tastes like minty cough syrup), but I tried it last year at Mardi Gras and fell in love. Now I have it imported!
Defenestrate- to throw through or out of a window.
Hijinks- boisterous celebration and merriment; unrestrained fun.
Loquacious- characterized by excessive talk; chatty.
Loquaciousness is a job requirement here at PrettiGeeky!
Marmalade- a jelly preserve in which small pieces of fruit are suspended. Yummy and fun to say!
Moxie- courage, nerve or vigor.
PrettiGeek Kaitlin knows a thing or two about moxie, moving to Costa Rica all by her lonesome. Wish her luck building a new life in the tropics!
Effervescence- a show of enthusiasm, excitement or liveliness.
Vestibule- a passage, hall, or antechamber between the outer door and the interior parts of a house. And fun to say! Vestibuuuuuuule.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- fear of long words.
Gotta love the irony of that.
Eavesdropping- listening secretly to a private conversation. Sneaky!
Other PrettiGeeky Nerdwords
With 59 million titillating terms to chose from, a couple of book nerds like ourselves had trouble narrowing our selection. So we asked our followers on Twitter and Facebook to identify their favorite nerdwords as well. Check out their choices!
Unkempt- neglected, disheveled and messy. (via Jonny Panic)
This one is funny because it describes the submitter soooo well!
Cathartic- to purify by means of purging. (via Justag33k)
Scapulomancy- divination of the future by cracking a mammal’s scapula that has been heated by a fire or hot instrument. (via oodja)
O.o We’re a little scared of oodja.
Have a nerdword that gets you all hot and bothered? Share the literary love in the “comments” section below!