As teacher, editor, and writer, I use the words in my vocabulary as tools. I need them. Similarly, I need food and clothing. But, I appreciate a meal that goes beyond just keeping me alive, and I always enjoy wearing one of my Countess Mara ties, although a necktie does not protect me from the weather.
Some words are like that. They are such treasures, because of their absurd spellings or their limited meanings, that it is fun to know them, even if it is unlikely that you will ever use them.
Seven of my favorite words just for fun
e. hoi polloi
Can you use them in a sentence?
Before we get to the meanings, see if you can fit them into sentences. Notice that two of them fit into the same sentence.
1. He blushed, when he realized that his girlfriend had heard his *****.
2. He was speechless; once she dropped her clothes, he saw how ***** she was.
3. He always laughed, even sneered, when anyone said his father was *****.
4. The ***** had a terrible odor.
5. The ***** had a terrible odor.
6. She blushed, as he watched her lick the *****.
7. *****, her mother wailed disapprovingly, when she heard that her daughter had been arrested for attempting to blow up a hospital.
I used the Oxford English Dictionary for these, but the link for each word takes you to a page in a different online dictionary.
Borborygmus – a rumbling in the bowels. Definition.
Callipygian – having well-shaped buttocks. Definition.
Eleemosynary – charitable. Definition.
Effluvium – chiefly a noxious or disgusting exhalation or odour. Definition.
Hoi polloi – the masses. Definition.
Lambitive – medicine taken by licking up with the tongue. Definition.
Noughtihood – wickedness. Definition.
Answers for the sentences, and a bonus
So, the words fit into the sentences in the order in which they are given: 1 – a, 2 – b, 3 – c, 4 – d, 5 – e, 6 – f, 7 – g. But, here is another question for you.
Which of these words is the title of a Three Stooges film, based on the same play as My Fair Lady? Check your answer here.
If you do not know about the great Oxford English Dictionary, you can learn about it here, and if you do not know about the great Three Stooges, you can learn about them here.
For more fun with our language, check my article, “English Just for the Fun of It” (here), in which this old English teacher makes amends for years of making English so boring.