There are a lot of words in the English language. Some are really common, some are really old, and some are really weird. If you Google "weird words" or "unusual" words, there are words with way too many letters, words that are super short but you've never heard of, and a variety of other weird, wacky, and fun words.
There are also dozens of lists of old words, weird words, long words, short words--pretty much anything you might be looking for.
But this list is one of words that are oddly specific. Who knew we needed words for these things? And yet, they exist.
Someone who is learning the alphabet. It is certainly important to learn the alphabet. At least, an alphabet. But not only does this word remind me of octogenarian, but does someone learning the alphabet really need their own title? Every kindergartner everywhere: an abecedarian.
The practice of eating and drinking while lying down. Probably more people do this than are willing to admit. After all, what is Netflix for? It's for watching shows and eating while lying down. Therefore, I think many could admit to accubation.
Feeding on frogs. Not something I personally do, but my parent's dog does. And so do some humans. So now we know what it's called. The batrachophagous human enjoyed deep fried frog legs with abandon.
Having a short beak or bill. I guess I can see how this word might be important if you were a bird scientist. In fact, I might use it in my next book. But I'm sure that even brevirostrate birds would agree that the word is extremely specific.
Barber. Yup. According to my research, it is constructed from the Greek words for "hand" and "clipper." Handclipper. Henceforth, all barbers and hairdressers everywhere shall be yclept HANDCLIPPER.
To gape or burst open (as in a pod or a wound). Yeah this is kind of gross. Unless you're talking about the snap dragon plant, in which case, it's super cool. When you pop a snap dragon pod, little springy seeds jump everywhere and it is epic.
A collector of picture post cards. This seems like a profession I could get behind.
Of a hedgehog family. I'm guessing there is a group of erinaceous aliens somewhere who will very much appreciate the existence of this word once they've encountered English-speaking humans for the first time. In fact, humans will probably appreciate this word at that point as well. How else are we supposed to describe them?
When a horse tries to get rid of its rider. Never again will you have to say, "the horse tried to rid itself of it's rider by kicking and bucking." Now you can simply say, "the horse estrapaded!"
Resembling ashes. I find this interesting because, besides ashes themselves, there aren't a lot of things that resemble ashes. Maybe snow? But when you google "things that resemble ashes" all you get are "The 10 Weirdest Things You Can Do With Your Ashes."
An object, such as a sponge, that is left behind after surgery.
Doctor: I'm sorry to say, you have a gossypiboma.
You: Oh no! Am I going to be okay?
A nose that has a hump. What kind of hump? Like, a bulb on the end? Like, a little rise on the bridge? A camels' hump?
At any rate, if you or someone you know has a nose with a hump, you now know what to call their condition. "How's your kyphorrhinos today, friend?" Also, did you notice it has the word "rhinos" in it?
Someone who goes barefoot. This is me. Definitely me. I'm looking forward to adding nelipot to my list of accomplishments on my resume.
The cutting of a beard. This is not something I have practiced personally, but I come from a family of men who practice this religiously. Every couple of weeks or so, when the beards get too long or scraggly, some pogontomy is required.
The sound of the wind in the trees and the rustling of leaves. I love this word almost as much as I love the word petrichor. Yes, it is a bit unnecessary, as you could just say "the trees rustled in the wind" instead of trying to somehow fit "psithursim" into a sentence, but the fact that there is one word that encapsulates the essence of this sound is wonderful. I am happy to live in a universe where this word exists.
The first person you encounter after leaving home. This is an amazing concept, actually, I've decided after reflecting on it. Think about it: the first person you meet after leaving home has the ability to completely shape the rest of your day. If they're a thief, and they rob you, then instead of going out like you were planning, you have to spend the rest of the day at the bank and DMV doing annoying things. Or if they're nice and run over to hand you something you dropped, they could have saved you the trip to the DMV or bank or wherever. They might say something nice or mean or irrelevant, and in doing so, impact what you do and how well you do it!
A person who eats worms. A horrific concept, I know, but there is a song about it... "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me--I'm gonna go eat worms... big fat juicy ones, itsy bitsy tiny ones, the wriggly ones that make you squirm..." or however it goes. Anyway, not sure we needed this concept to begin with, let alone a word for it.
The art of splitting a hair four ways. WHAT A SKILL. WHAT A TALENT. I believe this word is facetious in origin, which makes it metaphorically and literally hilarious. So while yes, this word is totally unnecessary and ridiculously specific, it is also amazing.
Belonging to a group of people with wooly or crispy curly hair. I think I probably belong to this group, except that I've never considered my hair "cripsy". Just thick and curly and frizzy. Do you have crispy hair?
The practice of eating dry food. Please raise your hand if your diet consists entirely of dry food. And then write a comment or message me or email me or SOMETHING. I am SO CURIOUS about what this actually looks like (if it's real). Although, I guess my cats are on an all dry food diet. Hm.
So there you have it--my list of weird words. I love words and I love weird words. What are your favourites?
It literally means cat. It's derived from the word "grey" and the word "malkin" which basically means cat, in addition to a few other things. I like it because it kind of sounds like 'gremlin' and boy are my cats little gremlins :)
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**All images are from the Internet Archive on Flickr.