Favourite Words of Moira Rose

Favourite Words of Moira Rose

Moira Rose is the dramatic matriarch of the Rose family and a soap opera star, who takes an interest in civics after moving to Schitt’s Creek.

Moira is known for her egotism, wigs and her eccentric vocabulary.

Here is a list of eccentric words I know Moira Rose would appreciate. I’ve even heard her use some of them.

  • Abra — narrow mountain path
  • Adamitism — nakedness for religious reasons
  • Adosculation — impregnation by contact alone or by wind
  • Aerophane — a thin fabric resembling crepe or gauze. Light, semi-transparent
  • Athleisure — comfortable clothing worn by non-sporting people
  • Auspices — a divine or prophetic token e.g. ‘Under the auspices of’ (archaic)
  • Babeldom — a confused sound of voices
  • Backpfeifengesicht: German word combining two nouns to mean “a face that invites a slap” or “a face in need of a good punch”.
  • Badinage — playful repartee or banter
  • Badinerie — teasing (French)
  • Bantling — brat, whelp, bastard child
  • Barbula — small tuft of hair just below the lower lip
  • Bavardage — chattering, prattle
  • Bedswerver — unfaithful spouse
  • Beforetime — formerly
  • Behither — on this side of; on the near side of
  • Belike — most probably
  • Beldam — an old woman; a hag, an ancestress
  • Bellicism — inclination towards violence; hawkishness
  • Bellonion — mechanical instrument combining trumpets and drums, with a voice like a bell onion
  • Bestiocracy — rule by beasts
  • Betimes — in short time; speedily
  • Betwixt — between
  • Bilge — lower point of inner hull of a ship; nonsense or rubbish
  • Blabberer — someone who speaks a lot, see also: clatterfart, bablatrice, nimble-chops, jaw smith and twattle-basket
  • Blendling — hybrid
  • Bodement — prediction or prophecy
  • Boscage — thick foliage, woodland
  • Brio — enthusiastic vigor
  • Broch — luminous ring around the moon
  • Bulwark — a defensive wall or rampart. A defence or safeguard.
  • Cacogen — antisocial person
  • Canterbank — second-rate musician
  • Carriwitchet — a quip or quibble; a pun, a conundrum
  • Castophrenia — belief that one’s thoughts are being stolen
  • Cataplexy — a state mimicking death, used by animals
  • Catechectics — the art of teaching by question and answer
  • Chandelle — a sharp upward turn in aviation
  • Chasmophile — love of nooks and crannies
  • Chatelaine — female castle owner; manager or caretaker. Also a ring attached to a belt for carrying keys.
  • Chaussures — general name for boots and shoes; footwear
  • Chawdron — entrails
  • Cheville — unnecessary word used to extend a line of verse
  • Chyme — partially digested food
  • Circumbendibus — a roundabout way or expression
  • Circumjacent — bordering on every side
  • Circumlittoral — around or near the shore
  • Claque — group or hired applauders or sycophants
  • Clatfart — idle chatter, nonsense
  • Claustral — cloistral secluded; narrow-minded
  • Claver — gossip
  • Cleithral — completely roofed over
  • Clicket — a latch
  • Clinkstone — a type of rock that rings after you tap it
  • Clinophobia — fear of staying in beds
  • Cliquant — glittery, tensely
  • Clinomania — the overwhelming desire to stay in bed
  • Clivose — hilly, steep
  • Cockamamie — ridiculous, incredible
  • Codling — unripe apple
  • Cognitus interruptus — disruption of thoughts
  • Collywobbles — a feeling of fear or apprehension characterized by uneasiness in the belly
  • Complement — set “the full complement of carnivore teeth”
  • Compusion — wrinkling one’s face
  • Crapehanger — pessimist
  • Crapulent — physically ill through overeating or over drinking
  • Craquelure — fine cracking that appears in old paintings
  • Crot — In composition, a crot is a verbal bit or fragment used as an autonomous unit to create an effect of abruptness and rapid transition. Also called a blip.
  • Cruft — badly designed software
  • Cupid’s Kettle Drums — Breasts (Victorians)
  • Darkling — growing dark or characterised by darkness
  • Dissimulata — when Christians were persecuted they had to disguise their crosses. These disguised crosses (often looking more like an anchor) were known as Crux Dissimulata, literally ‘disguised’ or ‘dissimilar’ cross. (Fish were also used.)
  • Duff — a flour pudding boiled or steamed in a cloth bag
  • Dunning-Krugeriffic — Dunning-Kruger is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.
  • In adante cantabile — at walking speed and in a singing style
  • Enchanté — “Why hello, you must be Stevie. Enchanté.”
  • Flew — The thick, dangling upper lip of certain breeds of dog, or the canine equivalent of the upper lip. ‘Flews of a hound’
  • Foppery — Dressed up in eighteenth century foppery
  • Fremdschämen — Your friend has just committed a terrible social faux pas, and you can feel yourself blushing on their behalf. Second-hand embarrassment.
  • Frondescence — the process or period of putting forth leaves, as a tree, plant, or the like
  • Fugue stretto — a second voice enters with the subject overlapping the first. E.g. An argument downstairs between parents
  • Gigglemug — Always smiling (Victorian)
  • Hark! — an exclamation
  • Hugger-mugger — disorder or confusion; muddle
  • Interpellation — a philosophical term in Marxist theory. When we make educated guesses based on existing ideology. Someone knocks on the door outside, we recognise the voice, we interpellate that it must be our friend with that exact same voice.
  • Intransigence — refusal to change one’s views or to agree about something
  • Kalends — “Celebrated on the kalends of March” the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar
  • Morbs — to get the morbs means to have temporary sadness
  • Morgencolla — an old Anglo Saxon word meaning terror in the morning.
  • Muckspout — someone who swears a lot
  • Mumbudget — silent
  • Mumpsimus (16th century) is someone who refuses to budge/insists that they are right, despite clear evidence that they are wrong. Plural: mumpsimuses.
  • Nippie Sweetie — a drink of spirits, especially whiskey
  • Not up to dick — unwell
  • Ort (archaic) — a scrap or remainder of food from a meal
  • Pettifog — To quibble about petty points. “I’m not remotely interested in your pettifogging objection, chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position.” – John Bercow in the UK Parliament, September 10, 2019.
  • Pellicle — a condom like gelatinous material that can be peeled off the cap of a mushroom
  • Pickled Punks — foetuses in jars from the carny era.
  • Platonic solids — There are five of them, all 3D shapes: tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron. The cube represents the element of Earth. When a cube is unfolded it represents a cross, the standard floor plan of Christian churches, emphasising stability and eternity.
  • Popinjay — conceited person
  • Pornogenerian — dirty old man
  • Poult — young fowl
  • Preliography — “I don’t need a preliography, thanks.” (Description of a battle)
  • Presenium — “Welcome to the presenium.” (Period of life preceding old age. Good to use on birthday cards.)
  • Presentoir — “Oh, it’s not for drinking out of dear. Use it as a presentoir.” (Ornamental shallow tray or cup)
  • Preterpluparenthetical — tending to use excessive parenthesis; pedantic
  • Primogenous — of, like or pertaining to the earliest or first developmental stage
  • Procumbent — lying or leaning forward; prone
  • Proditor — traitor
  • Prognathic — having a jaw that juts forward
  • Prolix — long-winded; garrulous; dwelling too long on particulars
  • Pronograde — to walk in a pronogade fashion is to walk with body parallel to the ground, like a monkey)
  • Prosopography — “Yes, all right, we don’t need their complete prosopography.” (Description of an individual’s life, character or physical form)
  • Prosy — prosaic, tedious
  • Protensive — extensive in time or length
  • Protoplast — first formed person or thing; original ancestor
  • Peevish — having or showing an irritable disposition
  • Petulant — (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered
  • Perverse — showing a deliberate and obstinate desire to behave in a way that is unreasonable or unacceptable
  • Prosateur — one who writes prose for a living
  • Précieuse — woman affecting a fastidious over-refinement
  • Precisian — overly precise person; formalist
  • Presbyte — old man
  • Prosector — one who dissects bodies in anatomical lectures
  • Pseudography — unsatisfactory spelling
  • Spurious — not being what it purports to be; false or fake
  • Pseudologue — pathological liar
  • Pseudology — art or science of lying
  • Pseudosopher — someone with a shallow philosophy; limited knowledge
  • Pugmarks — paw prints
  • Qua — in the capacity of, by virtue of being. As. e.g. He doesn’t hate cheeseburgers qua cheeseburgers. (He doesn’t hate cheeseburgers because they are cheeseburgers, or by virtue of being cheeseburgers. (He is affected by a system of cheeseburger bigotry.)
  • Scrimshander (or Scrimshaw) — adorn ivory or shells with carved or coloured designs.
  • Scurf — flakes on the surface of the skin that form as fresh skin develops below, occurring especially as dandruff. A flaky deposit on a plant resulting from a fungal infection.
  • Simpliciter — simply, unconditionally. (Adverb used in law.) Can also be used in non-legal contexts e.g. ‘frustration simpliciter’ (pure frustration). (Some people said that) Elliot Rodger’s misogyny was instead a product of mental illness, social isolation, sexual frustration, and frustration simpliciter “rather than anything ‘taught’ to him.
  • Sensorium — the sensory apparatus considers as a whole
  • Serry (archaic) — to press close together. ‘Serried apple trees’, ’serried ranks of soldiers’.
  • Sooterkin — a fabled small creature about the size of a mouse that certain women are believed to have been capable of giving birth to.
  • Soubriquet — epithet or nickname
  • Spicule — a small measurement of sleet or snow. ’Spicules of snow stung her face.
  • Spindrift — spray blown from the crests of waves by the wind
  • Spoor — a track, trail, scent or droppings especially of an animal. A trace by which the progress of someone or something may be followed. For example, a trail of paw prints. Metaphorically: “a smoky spoor of black salt”
  • Squirk — (19th century slang) the undignified half-snort you make when trying not to laugh
  • Step Touch — an annoying dance move often put into the choreography of a song when the instructor fails to come up with any other original ideas
  • Sui generis — of its own kind, in a class by itself, unique
  • Summarily — without the customary formalities “which was summarily eaten”
  • Sybarite — a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury. Originally an inhabitant of Sybaris, an ancient Greek city in southern Italy noted for luxury.
  • Sylph — an imaginary spirit of the air
  • Sympoiesis — collective creation or organisation. The idea that systems have boundaries but those boundaries are always porous.
  • Teratoma — Teratoma or ‘evil twin’ tumours are extremely rare and occur when a growth resembling a human body grows inside someone. They can feature bones, hair, teeth and facial features.
  • Tight As A Boiled Owl — drunk (Victorian)
  • Trousers — an article of clothing. Preferred: Inexpressibles, Never-mention-ems, Unprintables, Etceteras, Ineffables, Round-the-houses, Inexplicables, Sit-upons
  • Tommyluck — karma, Murphy’s law
  • Une belle vie — a good life
  • Wanton — (of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked
  • Yowler — someone who makes a long loud cry

VERBS

  • Abjure — to solemnly renounce (a believe, cause, claim).
  • Abrade — to scrape or wear away by friction or erosion. An abradant is something that abrades. Related to abrasive. ‘half his face abraded by gravel’
  • Abraid — to awaken, rouse or reproach (Middle English)
  • Abound — to exist in large numbers or amounts. ’bookshops were beginning to abound’
  • Absquatulate — to decamp, leave quickly, flee. (American, humorous, mock Latin)
  • Abscind — to pare, reduce, cut off or away
  • Adduce — to cite as evidence ‘if you have no more arguments to adduce…’
  • Afear — to be afeared of means to be afraid of. Old English.
  • Agress — to attack or behave aggressively, initiate a conflict with
  • Alight — to descend from a train, bus or other form of transport. “Paul alighted from his car and went slowly down one of the side streets”. (Willa Cather) Was in more common use in the early 20th century.
  • Array — ‘the books had to be hand-coloured, typically by women and girls arrayed along a workshop table’. ‘Mrs. Stossen and her daughter, suitably arrayed for a county garden party function with an infusion of Almanack de Gotha…’
  • Arrest — to ‘arrest a fall’ is a rock-climbing term, meaning the belayer stops the climber from falling too far.
  • Backscatter — to scatter (radiation) by the atoms of the medium through which it passes. The redirection of lightwaves back out into the open air.
  • Balter — to dance gracelessly without particular art or skill, but perhaps lithesome enjoyment. (Middle English)
  • Bank — to heap a substance into a mass or a mount. ‘to bank the sleeping fire’, ‘the rain banked the soil up behind the gate’. But if we’re talking about a plane or vehicle, it means to tilt or cause to tilt sideways in making a turn. ‘The plane banked as if to return to the airport’. herons, banking and soaring in the sky (the sideways tilt of an aircraft or bird – when turning in flight)
  • Bedaggle — to soil by dragging along the wet ground
  • Bedizen — to dress up or decorate gaudily. A dress bedizened with sparkles
  • Benight — To be overcome with darkness. To get caught in the dark. “I was benighted, and stopped here to rest.”
  • Benumb — ‘Toward morning he awoke benumbed and cold.’ (Bret Harte)
  • Bereave — The fright nearly bereft me of my senses
  • Besmirch — to damage someone’s reputation or to make something dirty or discoloured.
  • Besmear — On a chair lay a razor, besmeared with blood.
  • Bestride — to stand astride over; straddle, dominate. ‘Heroes who bestrode the greenwood’ = heroes who dominated the forest
  • Bewail — ‘Bewail her fate’. Express great regret, sadness, or disappointment about (something).
  • Bewray — to reveal, divulge
  • Bibacious — overly fond of drinking
  • Bilious — ill-tempered; very unpleasant
  • Blat — to cry plaintively, ‘tooting the horn in bold blats’. Rain blatted against the window pane.
  • Blet — To undergo bletting, a fermentation process in certain fruit beyond ripening. A fruit such as the medlar (open arse fruit) needs to ‘blet’. To blet a medlar you need to leave them in a cool, dry place for a few weeks where they will eventually grow soft and mushy. In the middle ages people would leave them under their beds to blet. (To pick a fruit and let it go mushy/rotten.)
  • Bletcherous — having an ugly design
  • Boeotian — stupid or dull
  • Borné — limited, narrow-minded
  • Bray — grind: reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading; “grind the spices in a mortar”; “mash the garlic”. It also means to laugh loudly, like a donkey, but I figured there must be another meaning for it after reading that sentence.)
  • Bufoniform — shaped like a toad
  • Bulliform — shaped like a blister or boil
  • Bummel — to stroll or wander at a leisurely pace
  • Bullyrag — to assault with abusive language; to badger
  • Bull — ‘he bulled her backward into a chair’
  • Cachinnate — to laugh loudly and inappropriately
  • Cake — Standing around ‘waiting for wet bricks to cake’.
  • Cant — “A long shape canted at an angle”, for two surfaces to meet at an angle different from 90 degrees.
  • Cantillate — to chant or intone
  • Cant over — to tile or slant to one side, or to move so as to change position. “If the mine is struck hard, it will can’t over sixty-five or seventy degrees.” “She got upon me, her petticoats well canted over her back.”
  • Carpetbag — to go to an area and exploit the people who live there. Originally an American civil war term. In Australia, if someone pays $18 for Aboriginal artwork then takes it to a city gallery and puts a price tag of $3000 on it, that’s carpetbagging.
  • Chamfer — to channel or make furrows upon; to bevel
  • Chark — to burn wood to charcoal
  • Chasten — In the morning, chastened with a hangover…
  • Chest — “To chest” or place the body in a coffin is an expression frequently to be met with in early English records
  • Chouse — to cheat or swindle
  • Chivvy — to tell someone repeatedly to do something “I resent being chivvied from my spot”
  • Chuckle — To chuckle a dog is to scritch a dog
  • Circumpose — to place around (in the shape of a circle)
  • Clarigate — to declare war formally
  • Cleave — to separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument. To come or be in close contact with. To stick or hold together and resist separation. (Forms a bit of a contronym.)
  • Clinch — To grapple at close-quarters (especially of boxers). To clinch one’s thumb in one’s fist
  • Coalesce — come together to form one mass or whole
  • Cock — “he cocked the rifle”
  • Coif — to style or arrange (someone’s hair). “Coiffed in mob caps”, “her hair was coiffed in its usual way”
  • Cocker — to pamper, indulge
  • Collimate — to adjust the line of sight of an optical instrument. To make or place parallel to something.
  • Complot — to plot or conspire
  • Confabulate — to chat, to invent past experiences
  • Confute — to dispose or overcome through argument
  • Confect — to make or construct, especially into a confection
  • Counterpoised — brought into equipoise by means of a weight or force that offsets another
  • Crest — to move towards the crest of a rise. “They crested a rise”
  • Crump — to explode heavily or with a loud dull noise; bombard with heavy shells, ‘crumps of thunder’
  • Concatenate — to add by linking or joining so as to form a chain or series.
  • Convolve — to roll together
  • Coruscate — to sparkle; to throw off flashes of light
  • Cosset — to fondle or pamper
  • Cribble — to decorate wood or metal with small dots or punctures
  • Cudgel — to bludgeon, batter, bash. A cudgel is a short stick used as a weapon.
  • Cumber — to hold back. The remains of houses cumber the soil. Noun: ‘with much care and cumber’. Probably related to cumber band.
  • Curd — Curded with
  • Dabble — to immerse something (usually one’s hands or feet) partially in water and move them around gently. ‘On the hearth were two or three long and thick tresses of grey human hair, also dabbled in blood’ (Rue Morgue)
  • Dandle — to move a baby or young child up and down in a playful or affectionate way. ‘he dandled the child on his knee’
  • Decant — to pour (wine, port etc) from one container into another, typically with the purpose of separating out sediment. ‘decant wine’
  • Defenestrate — to throw oneself off a building hoping to kill yourself
  • Degauss — to make non-magnetic
  • Demur — to raise objections or show reluctance. (Don’t confuse with demure, a completely different word which describes almost the opposite.)
  • Depose (1) — to remove from office suddenly and forcefully
  • Depose (2) — to testify to or give evidence under oath, typically in a written statement. This is a legal term. Used in Rue Morgue short story: “Pauline Dubourg, laundress, deposes that she has known both the deceased for three years, having washed for them during that period.”
  • Deracinate — to move someone forcibly from their homeland into a new and foreign environment. To pull up, as if by the roots. To uproot.
  • Dibble — when planting seeds, gardeners ‘dibble’ a hole in each module of the container (using a ‘dibber’), which is like a pencil without the lead.
  • Diffract — Ocean waves diffracted around the jetty. An opal diffracts light. Light diffracts through a narrow opening, and refracts as it passes through a material.
  • Disgorge — to vomit up. ‘A few weeks later a yellow taxi disgorged Walter Welter’
  • Dissemble — to conceal or disguise one’s true feelings or beliefs. ‘No need to dissemble’
  • Disport — To frolic, enjoy oneself. “had not discovered that cave in the course of my disporting myself this day”. Archaic.
  • Doff — to remove (an item of clothing). “Doff his mask”
  • Drag — ‘a truck dragged past’
  • Dredge — to clear the bed (of a harbour, river or other body of water). Also means to bring something out of the water using a dredge, or, metaphorically, to bring something unwelcome and forgotten to people’s attention. Here it is used as an intransitive verb: “The river rolled, dredging and drowning and doing as it damn well pleased.”
  • Drub — hit or beat (someone) repeatedly “drubbing his wet hair with his fists”
  • Dye — can be used figuratively, same as colour. ‘A sense of dread began to dye his time in the house’ (Annie Proulx).
  • Effulge — to shine forth. To radiate.
  • Embark — The cats embarked for home.
  • Enfilade — to direct a volley of gunfire along the length of a target. As a noun, also refers to rooms with doorways in line with each other.
  • Enflesh — Enfleshed in monstrous bodies — given form
  • Enframe — in philosophy, to enframe the world is to look at the world only insofar as it’s useful to human beings. To enclose in a frame. (You can also use ‘frame’, but this is more specific.)
  • Encipher — convert a message or piece of text into a coded form
  • Essay — to try (formal) ‘and essayed a few awkward dance steps’
  • Exculpate — to show or declare that someone is not guilty of wrongdoing.
  • Extemporise — to fashion something out of something without preparation. This word seems to be often used in work from around the turn of the 20th century. ‘The Innocent, with the aid of pine-boughs, extemporized a thatch for the roofless cabin’.
  • Embosk — or imbosk — to hide or conceal oneself. Boss means ‘thicket or small wood’. It’s often used to mean concealing something with plants or greenery. e.g. ‘The summerhouse all embosked with vines’.
  • Ensnarl — to catch in (or as if in) a mesh
  • Expire — to die “Dandelions expired in airy seed heads”
  • Extirpate — surgically remove (an organ); pull up by or as if by the roots; destroy completely, as if down to the roots. ‘To extirpate evil’
  • Feint — to make a deceptive or distracting movement, especially during a fight. ’Week after week in winter the wind sank and rose, attacked and feinted.’
  • Fist — “she rose with one hand fisted on her hip”
  • Flake — to ‘flake a rope’ out is to pull it through both hands, checking there’s no knots and kinks.
  • Fleer — to sneer e.g. ‘fleering mouth’.
  • Flense — to strip of blubber or skin e.g. “flensed bones”
  • Fling — “She gave an inarticulate cry of rage and flung out of the room.”
  • Flute — literary — speak in a melodious way. “‘What do you do?’ she fluted. “There was a fluting of compliments on dear Hermione’s marvellous arrangements.
  • Fluoresce — to glow fluorescently.
  • Foment — to instigate or stir up (something undesirable, e.g. violence). In archaic usage it means to bathe a part of the body with warm or medicated lotions.
  • Freight — to transport in bulk e.g. “Boots freighted with sand (boots full of sand)”
  • Froth — to get angry “sitting awake in a frothing rage”
  • Furbelow — to adorn with trimmings. The noun is a gathered strip or pleated border of a skirt or petticoat. ‘Cold chickens and galantines, all white frilled and furbelowed’
  • Glance — hit something at an angle and bounce off obliquely. ’The wheel spun with great droplets glancing off it’.
  • Glomp — I glomped awkwardly out of the shallows and sank into the dry sand next to her. (Glomp: to embrace enthusiastically, but here used more metaphorically than that, to suggest a kind of awkward embracing of sea water.)
  • Gormandize — to eat good food, especially to excess.
  • Gravel — (USA) to make someone angry or annoyed. ‘It graveled Gilbert that [his ex wife] handled his property tax.’
  • Grub — to move around like a grub “He cursed and found his bedroom by grubbing around on the ground in the moonlight, then vised it under his left arm” grubbing about in a shed
  • Goffer — to crimp or flute (a lace edge or frill) with heated irons, as used by Beatrix Potter in Mrs Tiggy-Winkle
  • Guise — to fake or pretend e.g. “Guising as [devils]”
  • Guy — To ridicule. E.g. Old Mother Goose guys her betters.
  • Hansel — As a noun, a hansel is a gift given at the beginning of the year or to mark an acquisition or the start of an enterprise, supposedly to bring good luck. As a verb, it means ‘to give a hansel to’, or to render a bad luck item neutral e.g. by putting a coin into a purse before gifting it. ‘to hansel the purse’.
  • Hep-up — ‘hepped up on hormones’ (or drugs) means to be excited, enthusiastic, invigorated, stimulated. American version of ‘hopped up’
  • Hike — To hike or yank a thumb over one’s shoulder
  • Hoist — (Holding bottle of whiskey) he hoisted, has a long pull and almost choked.
  • Hove — to move in a certain direction or into a certain position or situation: The ship hove into sight… Another ideology moves into view
  • Huck — To huck means ‘to chuck’ in N. American dialect
  • Illumine — the literary version of illuminate. ‘The sequence of images illumines the interiority, making the unseen perceptible.’
  • Immolate — to kill or offer as a sacrifice, especially by burning.
  • Impute — to represent (something, especially something undesirable) as being done or possessed by someone; attribute e.g. ’There’s nothing in a work of art other than what we impute to it.’
  • Infuse — introduce into the body through a vein, to fill with a certain quality, to teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
  • Interpellate — a philosophical term in Marxist theory. When we make educated guesses based on existing ideology. Someone knocks on the door outside, we recognise the voice, we interpellate that it must be our friend with that exact same voice.
  • Interpose — “Beater had interposed his bull between her and the door.” “Think of the otter hounds,” interposed Amanda; “how dreadful to be hunted and harried and finally worried to death!”
  • Irradiate — to cast rays of light on. (Or to expose to radiation)
  • Job out — ‘he jobbed out the task of X to others’
  • Jounce — …she jounced the baby on her lap…
  • Lame — to make someone lame ‘suffered a fall that lamed him for life’
  • Larp — live action role play e.g. ‘Larping as’ (faking it as)
  • Leavened with — to cause to puff up with a leaven e.g. bread, but also pride perhaps
  • Limn — to trace the shape of, make a portrait of. “Limned a bleak picture of a marriage gone sour”. “The characters of the story are deliberately limned in” — mediocre, bleak and uninspiring. ‘Almost prophetically, The Bad Seeds’ previous album, Push the Sky Away, expresses the hope that Cave’s new work limns.’
  • Light — “The table was set with his supper and he lit into it.”
  • List — “his gaunt figure listed slightly to the side as if the breeze were pushing him”
  • Lour — to frown. ‘The sky loured’, Douglas Adams. A little way to the right, with bushes and tree branches on the gorge wall louring over its flat roof, stood a small garden shed whose weather-worn planking was turned dark by the rain.
  • Macule — to blur or be blurred, especially to blur or double an impression from type. An older version is ‘mackle’. Associated with disease.
  • Macerate — when referring to food it means to soften or to become softened by soaking in liquid. Here it is used to describe people who eat such food: “old people with their faces macerated”. This is making use of an archaic form of the verb, to cause to waste away by fasting. “The men macerated themselves with fasting”.
  • Maladroit — not good at
  • Mercurial — every once in a while, when trying to think of a polite word to describe someone i don’t quite trust, i just go with “mercurial”
  • Moither — to talk in an agitated, confused way e.g. “For goodness sake, what are you moithering about?”
  • Muzzle — to cause someone to remain quiet e.g. “He fired a shot into the trees. That muzzled em by god.”
  • Needle — to needle someone is to tease or annoy them for fun.
  • Nettle — to irritate or annoy someone e.g. “nettled at her negligence, he…”
  • Nobble — try to influence or thwart by underhand or unfair methods or to obtain dishonestly; steal. (British)
  • Noise — It was noised about the town that… (Gossip)
  • Obviate — to remove (a need or difficulty); to avoid or prevent (something undesirable)
  • Particularise — Don’t make me particularise! (Be specific)
  • Palliate — to make a disease or its symptoms less severe without removing the cause. It also means to disguise the seriousness of an offence e.g. cover up, whitewash.
  • Palpate — to examine (a part of the body) by touch, especially for medical purposes: ’In order to palpate the difference between x and y…’
  • Pattern — “He happened to be the young man who was daily held up to Paul as a model, and after whom it was his father’s dearest hope that he would pattern. “
  • Peel — ‘to peel off a wall’ is a rock-climbing term for coming off a rock face (by accident).
  • Pelt — to walk angrily, possibly Irish. ’he pelted up and down’
  • Pencil — the water ‘pencilled down’ (of a trickle waterfall)
  • Plunge — “she plunged the knife downward”
  • Poleaxe — to hit, kill or knock down as if with a poleaxe, which is another name for battle-axe
  • Poppysmic — the sound your lips make when smacking
  • Prate — talk foolishly or at tedious length about something ‘and prate about an elephant not one of them has seen’. The older version of ‘prattle on’
  • Prefulgent — extremely bright
  • Pushful — energetically or aggressively enterprising
  • Pusillanimous — lacking firmness; cowardly; having a weak character
  • Putative — supposed; reputed
  • Putid — decayed; fetid
  • Pygal — belonging to the rump end; pertaining to the rump
  • Quirt — “Some cattle had to be quirted.” To hit with a short-handled riding whip with a braided leather lash called a quirt.
  • Quoit — a ring of iron, rope or rubber thrown in a game to encircle an upright peg. To throw or propel like a quoit. “… Was quoited into the river”
  • Range — to lay out. ‘I sat facing the china cabinet in which were ranged all the good glasses, and the cream-and-sugar sets…’
  • Rake — to cast one’s gaze over e.g. “he raked the crowd” (with his eyes)
  • Ramify — to form branches or off-shoots. “Why did you take my simple story and ramify it so extensively with your own anecdotes?”
  • Rankle — to annoy “He rankles me. I should rankle his ankles.”
  • Ravel — the inverse of unravel, of course. The wind blew her hair into ‘ravelled fright wigs’. (Either one or two ls.) Means to knot, tangle up.
  • Ravel out — to disentangle
  • Ray — to spread from or as if from a central point. ‘Chicken bones and some eggshells raying from a burst garbage bag’, hair rays out in water, lines ray out from each corner of his eyes.
  • Redound — to contribute greatly to a persons credit or honour
  • Reel — to lose one’s balance and stagger or lurch violently. “He landed oafishly and reeled onto his back.”
  • Rend — to tear or be torn violently e.g. heart-rending. The past tense is ‘rent’: ‘a fearful thunderclap rent the sky in two’ (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  • Retail — means to sell goods but also means to relate or repeat (a story) in detail ‘she retailed an account of…’
  • Rifle (1) — make spiral grooves in (a gun or its barrel or bore) to make a bullet spin and thereby have greater accuracy over a long distance. “a line of replacement rifled barrels”. Also to hit or kick (a ball) hard and straight. “She rifled home her fourth goal of the season.”
  • Rifle (2) — to search through something in a hurried way in order to find or steal something. ’The drawers of a bureau, which stood in one corner, were open, and had been, apparently, rifled, although many articles still remained in them.’ (Rue Morgue) Sometimes it just means to steal. ‘He rifled the dead man’s possessions’.
  • Rive — to split or tear apart violently. “He thought a lightning bolt had riven him.” Archaic: to split or crack (wood or stone).
  • Roust — (North American) to cause to get up or start moving. Rouse. Or to treat roughly, harass.
  • Ruck — To compress or move cloth or clothing so that it forms a number of untidy folds or creases. “She stopped to ruck up her tunic.” Or the fabric can ruck up on its own: “Her dress rucked up at the front.”
  • Scabble — to work or dress (stone) roughly, preliminary to fine tooling
  • Skirl — (or bagpipes) to produce a shrill, wailing sound. ’the evil music filled the night, hung over the mangroves, skirled in the wave beat’ (John Steinbeck)
  • Scotch — to decisively put an end to. ‘To scotch rumors/suspicions’. It also means to wedge. ‘He scotched himself against a wall’. This is from an archaic noun. A scotch referred to a wedge placed under a wheel or other rolling object to prevent it from moving or slipping.
  • Scrabble — “the man scrabbled away like a crab” (Steinbeck)
  • Scud — to move fast in a straight line because or as if driven by the wind. Often used to refer to clouds, scudding across the sky. Sonya Hartnett describes the movement of a cat: “The cat scudded along the trunk”.
  • Scutter — ‘the squirrels scuttered away into the bushes’. (British, Beatrix Potter.) To move hurriedly in short steps. Small animals.
  • Seat — to seat an anchor into a crevice is a rock-climbing term to mean secure it firmly.
  • Secret — to hide something away e.g. ‘secreted among the bushes’
  • Shaft — ‘the spray of sprinklers made rainbows in the sun that was shafting the shade of several tall willows’
  • Shamble — (of a person) to move with a slow, shuffling, awkward gait. But also used metaphorically: “Vegetation shambled darkly to the sky.” However it’s used, there’s a feeling of ungainliness about it. …spent the evening shambling happily around the tranquil streets…
  • Seem — Notice how it can be used: “Until now she had followed the conversation without seeming concern.” (Instead of ‘without seeming to be concerned’.) Used in the same way as ‘showing’.
  • Shear — to cause to break off, owing to a structural strain. “to shear apart large prey”
  • Sheer — to swerve or change course quickly. To avoid or move away from an unpleasant topic. “drool sheering from between their yellow teeth” (of wolves, Kevin Barry)
  • Sheet — to fall in large quantities e.g. of rain: “rain sheeted down” Sonya Hartnett takes the flapping quality of a sheet in the wind: “The wind sheeting across the grass”
  • Shilly shally — to fail to act resolutely or decisively.
  • Shiv — to stab someone with a (homemade, prison made) knife
  • Shuck off — to cast off e.g. ‘shucked off their animal natures’
  • Shy — To shy a rock through a window. Shy means to throw quickly. Past tense shied.
  • Skim — “A couple of white sails skimmed along in the distance, bellied out in the wind.”
  • Skulk — to keep out of sight, typically with a sinister or cowardly motive.
  • Slake — to make less active or intense, or to cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water. e.g. lime which ‘slakes in minutes’. To satisfy thirst.
  • Slaver — The dog slavered wetly
  • Slew — I slewed the car over to the side of the motorway. To veer a vehicle. Slew, slews, slewing, slewed. To insert extra ticks or skip some ticks of a clock to slowly correct its time. To move something sideways, usually a railway line. ‘The single line was slewed onto the disused up formation.
  • Sling — to suspend or arrange something, especially with a strap or straps so that it hangs loosely in a particular position. “His jaws slung with pain”
  • Slur — he stirred his drink slowly with a glass rod, watching the cubes of ice slur clumsily about. To insult, to articulate poorly, to contaminate, to cover over, to cheat (by sliding a die), to blur or double.
  • Smart — to cause someone a sharp stinging pain or to feel a sharp stinging pain. “Apart from a smarting nose he was unhurt.”
  • Smite — to strike with a firm blow. “He smote the man on the back”. From the archaic noun for a heavy blow or stroke with a weapon in the hand. “His heart smote him.”
  • Sleek — to make something such as hair smooth and shiny e.g. the cat had its ears ‘sleeked back’.
  • Sough — to introduce into an environment, to place seeds in or on the ground for future growth, to indicate pain, discomfort, displeasure e.g. “A tail is curled around his neck like a rope and all the cat bodies are soughing breath in and out”; “The ancient door soughed when opened”; “Pampas grass soughed as they brushed by.”; “A little wind soughed through the trees.”
  • Spot — “Spot me” is what rock climbers say when they want someone to help them break a fall.
  • Spud — dig up or cut (plants, especially weeds) with a small spade ’Limbing trees and spudding the bark off’
  • Strafe — attack repeatedly with bombs or machine-gun fire from low-flying aircraft. Associated with punishment. Also used to talk about lights beaming out and moving around, like from a theatre. … left me with a strong urge to strafe someone in a cornfield from a low-flying aeroplane… (Strafing is the practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft.)
  • Strapple — to bind with a strap, to entangle
  • Strew — to cover, be dispersed over, spread by scattering. “Pieces were strew all over the track.” “Came with flowers to strew the grave”, “they strew debris to make the area look dishevelled”, “the husks of dead flies, their legs as rigid as waxed threads, strewed the windowsills”, “to strew the cobbles with straw”
  • Stint — To supply a very ungenerous or inadequate amount of something. e.g. ‘did not stint on storyteller’s hyperbole. ‘Stowage room hasn’t been stinted’. To restrict someone in amount of something. ‘To avoid having to stint yourself, save some for later’. To skimp on. ‘He doesn’t stint on wining and dining’. Also a noun. ‘He indulged without stint’. Stinted, stints.
  • Stove — to heat or dry (on a stove). ‘To stove feathers’. To keep warm in a hothouse. ‘To stove oranges’. Another meaning: ‘the old Goldilocks woman stoves in the chair she sits in and lands, legs flailing, on her bottom’.
  • Strop — “His razor tongue stropped itself on the faults and flaws of his dead parents”. To sharpen or with a strop, which is usually a strip of leather for sharpening razors. His tongue stropped itself on the affairs of his dead parents
  • Sunder — to split apart. ‘Sundered from her daughter’
  • Superintend — to supervise or take charge of e.g. “Egbert was too agitated to eat any breakfast, and went out to superintend the strengthening of the poultry yard defences.”
  • Superpose — to place one geometric figure upon another so that their perimeters coincide
  • Sussurate — to speak softly without vibration of the vocal cords, to mouth words
  • Swaddle — wrap (someone, especially a baby) in garments or cloth. Swaddled by elders
  • Swathe — to wrap in several layers of something, e.g. fabric. “Swathed in damp weed”
  • Swough — to make a low murmuring noise, murmur, rustle, sigh. Also a noun.
  • Suffuse — to gradually spread through or over. “Light suffused the room”
  • Tap — to draw liquid through the tap or spout of a cask, barrel or other container. ‘tap a wine cask’
  • Tarry — to ‘tarry in the antechamber’ means to stay in a place; to sojourn. Has overtones of lingering and loitering, like one shouldn’t really be there.
  • Tend — to give one’s attention to. “He tended the fire with a poker”
  • Thresh — to move violently; thrash about. ‘His hands and feet threshed in the tangle of the wild grapevine’ (Steinbeck) ‘the dog threshed a welcome’
  • Tincture — something evil tincturing the light
  • Toady — to act in an obsequious (sycophantic) way. “The cat quailed and toadied but failed to mollify the other cat.”
  • Top — to arrive at the top of “he had topped a rise”
  • Trepan — In mining: To be trepanned into the side of a hill (like the children in Pied Piper, Robert Browning). In medicine, trepan refers to making a hole in the skull to relieve inflammation or something like that. Trepans, trepa(n)ning, trepanned. As a noun it means trickster. To trick, ensnare, seduce.
  • Trounce — to beat heavily in a contest.
  • Thrilled — Means either to cause someone to have a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure, or, of an emotion or sensation, to pass with a nervous tremor e.g. “The words thrilled through me”.
  • Twitch — Twitch means to move jerkily but it also means plucked or pulled: “Then, if the floor had been suddenly twitched out from under the men they could not have moved quicker.”
  • Patinate — to take on a patina, or give a patina to e.g. ‘But in the insomnia of old age he read half the night, the patinated words gliding under his eyes like a river…’ Patina is a thin layer that forms on the surface of copper, bronze and similar metals (tarnish) or certain stones and wooden furniture (sheen from wear, age and polishing) or any similar acquired change of a surface through age and exposure.
  • Perfuse — to force a fluid through (a body part or tissue). To cause to spread or flush or flood through, over or across.
  • Plash — to make a splashing sound. Literary. ‘The oars plashed in the silence’. ‘Mixed in with the leaves and the sound of plashing water was Fiona’s soft talk and her laughter’.
  • Popjoy — to amuse oneself
  • Popple — to flow rumblingly; to heave choppingly
  • Prate — to talk foolishly or sententiously; to tattle
  • Prefigure —to imagine beforehand; to foreshadow
  • Prelect — to lecture
  • Premonish — to warn beforehand. “Consider yourself premonished.”
  • Prink — to spend time making minor adjustments to one’s appearance. ‘Prinking herself in front of the mirror’
  • Quail — to feel or show fear or apprehension. “The cat quailed, blinking, but did not run”.
  • Quirk — she quirked her eyebrows
  • Reverence — to regard or treat with deep respect e.g. ‘New England Puritans reverenced reading as the key to living the godly life.’
  • Slant — Slope or lean in a particular direction. “Through the window of his room, a sunbeam slanted across his smooth white bed”
  • Syncopate — to displace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa.
  • Unloose — to loosen the ties of
  • Urticate — to cause a sting with or as if by nettles. To whip with or as if with nettles. Also describes spider defence mechanisms e.g. the tarantula.
  • Valorise — to put on a pedestal
  • Vex — “I didn’t want to vex him anymore today.”
  • Vivify — vivified with — to make more striking or animated
  • Vouchsafe — to give or grant something to someone in a gracious or condescending manner. “A great mercy has been vouchsafed me”
  • Waul — both noun and verb, to give a loud plaintive cry like a cat. ‘Waul of trucks’
  • Winnow — blow a current of air through (grain) in order to remove the chaff. Extended to mean removing people or things from a group until only the best ones are left. Separately, it also means to blow (wind). “From the corner of a line eye he spotted a gauzy shadow winnowing between the eucalypts” and also refers to birds fanning the air with their wings. “Emperors of the sky
  • Wrest — to forcibly pull from someone’s grasp. “It would be hard to wrest territory from them.”
  • Yammer — to talk incessantly
  • Yaw — (of a moving ship or aircraft) twist or oscillate about a vertical axis
  • Yoke — yoked to (joined to)

ADJECTIVES

  • Abdominous — having a large stomach or paunch, like the contents of a ruminant’s fourth stomach
  • Acaudate — tailless. Without a tail.
  • Aeolian — giving forth a tone as if produced by the wind
  • Aeolistic — long-winded
  • Aeonian — lasting for an immeasurably long period of time
  • Antiphonal — (of music, especially church music, or a section of a church liturgy) sung, recited, or played alternately by two groups.
  • Anomic — a state or condition of individuals or society characterised by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values, as in the case of uprooted people
  • Apprehensible — easily deciphered e.g. the apprehensible world
  • Banjanxed — drunk
  • Barbigerous — bearded; wearing a beard
  • Batrachivorous — frog eating
  • Bosky — covered with trees or shrubs
  • Bosselated — knobby
  • Brumous — foggy, wintry
  • Bialate — two-winged (also bipinnate)
  • Bicapitate — two-headed
  • Bi-corn — having two horns or points
  • Bi-denticulate — having two teeth
  • Bifarious — organised in two rows
  • Bifid — divided in two by a deep split
  • Bifilar — having two threads
  • Bijugate — having heads on both sides of a coin
  • Biramous — forked; with two branches
  • Brumous – adj – Foggy and wintry
  • Callipygous — having beautiful buttocks
  • Callow — unfledged; inexperienced
  • Candescent — glowing hotly
  • Cannular — hollow or tube shaped
  • Capreolate — having or resembling tentacles
  • Capric — having a goat like smell
  • Carminative — ex-elling, causing or relieving flatulence
  • Carniaptious — bad-tempered; cantankerous
  • Carnassial — specially adapted for eating flesh
  • Caneous — flesh, flesh-coloured, like or pertaining to flesh
  • Casefy — to become or make cheese-like
  • Catadiopttric — employing both reflections nd refraction of light
  • Catalectic — incomplete; missing final syllable
  • Cervicorn — branching like antlers
  • Chapfallen — chin is dropped. Related to that is dewlapped. Dewlap is a fold of loose skin hanging from the neck or throat of an animal, especially that present in many cattle.
  • Circumforaneous — wandering about as from market to market
  • Complicant — overlapping
  • Compossible — possible in coexistence with something else
  • Coprological — related to feces. Coprology is the study of faces.
  • Corybantic — wild; frenzied, especially as it relates to dancing. (In the spirit or manner of a Corybant, one of the attendants or priests of Cybele noted for wildly emotional processions and rites.)
  • Craven — lacking in courage, a craven is a cowardly person
  • Crude — in a natural or raw state; not yet processed or refined. “A crude sackcloth garment”
  • Draggle-tailed — having untidily trailing skirts e.g. “A draggle-tailed wench”. Archaic.
  • Dun — of a dull greyish-brown colour
  • Germane — relevant to a subject under consideration. ‘More germanely…’
  • Grim and grill — fierce and cruel, Middle English
  • Fell — literary word for terrible evil or deadly. ‘Fell swoop’, ‘Did you think I was abducting you for fell purposes?’ (Alice Munro)
  • Ferine — untamed; feral; wild; in a state of nature; never having been domesticated; malignant; noxious: as, a ferine disease; a wild beast; a beast of prey
  • Fire — you know what would be fire? chopping up that old radicchio wilting at the bottom of the fridge and throwing some radishes and cold green beans on it
  • Foliated — decorated with leaves or leaf-like motifs
  • Frowsty — having a stale, warm, and stuffy atmosphere e.g. ‘Frowsty fumes of meals past’ (British)
  • Gauche — unsophisticated and socially awkward
  • Hidebound — unwilling or unable to change because of tradition or convention
  • Hortatory — preachy
  • Inchoate — just begun, not so fully formed, rudimentary
  • Ineffable — too great or extreme to be expressed in words.
  • Inscrutable — impossible to understand or interpret
  • Intransigent — unwilling or refusing to change one’s views or to agree about something.
  • Involuted — complicated or abstruse, or non metaphorically, it means to be curled or curved inwards, having the edges rolled over the upper surface towards the midrib of an involute leaf.
  • Lambent — of hair, glowing, gleaming, flickering with a soft radiance
  • Liberatory — the adjective of liberate.
  • Mouldery — “mouldery old”
  • Noetic — relating to mental activity or the intellect, ‘the noetic quality of a mystical experience’
  • Nugatory — of no value or importance; useless or futile
  • Numinous — having a strong or religious quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.
  • Orgiastic — resembling an orgy — debauched, wild, riotous
  • Optative — elating to or denoting a mood of verbs in Greek and certain other languages, expressing a wish, equivalent in meaning to English let’s or if only
  • Penumbral — Referring to the partial shadow between regions of full shadow (the umbra) and full illumination, especially as cast by Earth, the Moon, or another body during an eclipse. During a partial lunar eclipse, a portion of the Moon’s disk remains within the penumbra of Earth’s shadow while the rest is darkened by the umbra
  • Piratical — Piratical depredations
  • Prehensile — (chiefly of an animal’s limb or tail) capable of grasping. The feet of many birds, the tails of monkeys, and the trunks of elephants are prehensile.
  • Prenarial — pertaining to or in front of the nostrils
  • Profligate — recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources
  • Prone — Lie prone, to lie flat, especially downwards
  • Prosy — showing no imagination; commonplace or dull
  • Pruinose — having a frosted look, bearing whitish dust
  • Pruniferous — bearing plums
  • Prurient — stemming from the indulgence of lewd ideas; lascivious
  • Ptarmic — substance that causes sneezing
  • Pterospermous — having winged seeds
  • Raddled — showing signs of age or fatigue or coloured with or as if with raddle.
  • Rapacious — aggressively greedy or grasping
  • Rebarbative — tending to irritate or repel. ‘He became rebarbative after questioning’’
  • Recondite — (of a subject or knowledge) little known; abstruse: e.g.‘recondite and wide ranging conversation’
  • Rimy — covered by frost “exuded an Arctic rimy air as if from frost bitten lungs”
  • Scabrous — rough and covered with scabs, or scab-like things. Scabby.
  • Scurfy — 1 : thin dry scales detached from the epidermis especially in an abnormal skin condition specifically : dandruff. 2a : something like flakes or scales adhering to a surface. b : the foul remains of something adherent. “Flicking a scurfy tail”
  • Scurrilous — making or spreading scandalous claims about someone with the intention of damaging their reputation
  • Supernumerary — present in excess of the normal or requisite number. Annie Proulx writes of a ‘supernumerary’ leg on the bed designed to give extra support but actually bangs whenever the married (infidels) couple have sex in “Man Crawling Out of Trees”.
  • Skyclad — outside while naked, as in part of a witch’s ceremony
  • Slumberous — heavy with sleep or inducing sleep
  • Spavined — affected with swelling; old and decrepit
  • Tatterdemalion — tattered, or a person in tattered clothing.
  • Transilient — jumping across or passing over something
  • Tricksy — e.g. tricksy spirits
  • Vantablack is a substance made of carbon nanotubes. It was once known as the blackest material known to humankind, before the discovery of X.
  • Venal — capable of being corrupted
  • Veridical — coinciding with reality. Real, truthful, phenomenological. ‘Interpret the stats in a veridical way’, ‘veridical hallucinations’.
  • Viscid — Slippery or slimy when wet eg. mushroom
  • Woe-begone — strongly affected with woe
  • Zoomorphic — having or representing animal forms or gods of animal form

Those who tell the stories rule the world.

Native American Proverb