On The Matter of Language
By Professor Paul (Papa) Pauciloquent

The people of Modieva are a many and varied bunch and as their cultures have integrated and blended over the millenia they have cobbled together a strange but deep vocabulary that is generally understood and accepted by all.

Word Meaning
abode a home
abroad out of doors
absquatulate to leave somewhere abruptly
accouchement birthing
adieu goodbye
adscititious additional
advertisement a notice to readers in a book
afar at a distance
afeard/afeared frightened
affright frighten (someone)
agastopia n. – admiration of a particular part of someone’s body
ague malaria or a similar illness
aliment food; nourishment
ambuscade an ambush
anfractuous winding or circuitous
animalcule a microscopic animal
apace quickly
apothecary a person who prepared and sold medicine
appetency a longing or desire
argle-bargle copious but meaningless talk or writing
argute shrewd
arrant utter
assay attempt
astrobleme an eroded remnant of a large, ancient crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet
asunder into pieces
atrabilious melancholy or bad-tempered
aught anything at all
aurora the dawn
autotomy the casting off of a limb or other part of the body by an animal under threat, such as a lizard
avaunt go away
badmash a hooligan
bane poison
bard a poet
Barmecide illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing
barque a boat
baseborn of low birth or social standing
bashment W. Indian a large party or dance
bawbee Scottish a coin of low value
bedizen dress gaudily
bedlam an asylum
beget produce (a child)
behold See or observe
behoof benefit or advantage
beldam an old woman
benthos the flora and fauna on the bottom of a sea or lake
beseech ask urgently and fervently
bestrew scatter
betake oneself go to
bethink oneself of remember; recollect
betide happen
betimes in good time; early
betoken be a warning of
bibble v. – to drink often; to eat and/or drink noisily
bibliopole a person who buys and sells books, especially rare ones
bijoux jewellery; trinkets
bilboes an iron bar with sliding shackles, used to fasten prisoners’ ankles
billow a large sea wave
bindlestiff a tramp
bingle a collision
blackguard a scoundrel
blade sword
blatherskite a person who talks at great length without making much sense
blind pig a place where alcoholic drinks are sold illegally
blithe happy
blow produce flowers or be in flower
bobsy-die a great deal of fuss or trouble
bodkin a dagger
boffola a joke that gets a loud or hearty laugh
boilover A surprise result in a sporting event
bootless (of a task) ineffectual; useless
bosky covered by trees or bushes
brand a sword
breatharian a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can exist on air alone
bridewell a prison or reform school for petty offenders
brimstone sulphur
bruit a report or rumour
brume mist or fog
bruxism involuntary and habitual grinding of the teeth
buck a fashionable and daring young man
bumbo a drink of rum, sugar, water, and nutmeg
bumper a generous glass of an alcoholic drink
burgess a full citizen of a town or borough
buss a kiss
caboose a kitchen on a ship’s deck
cabotage n. – coastal navigation; the exclusive right of a country to control the air traffic within its borders (NOT: v. – to sabotage with cabbage and/or Vermont Cabot Cheese)
cacoethes an urge to do something inadvisable
cadet a younger son or daughter
caducity the infirmity of old age; senility
callipygian having shapely buttocks
callithumpian like a discordant band or a noisy parade
camisado a military attack carried out at night
cannonade bombard
canorous melodious or resonant
cantillate to chant or intone a passage of religious text
carl a man of low birth
carphology convulsive or involuntary movements made by delirious patients, such as plucking at the bedclothes
catoptromancy foretelling the future by means of a mirror
ceil line or plaster the roof of (a building)
celerity swiftness
cereology the study or investigation of crop circles
cerulean deep sky blue
chad a piece of waste paper produced by punching a hole
champaign open level countryside
chapman a peddler
chicane deceive; hoodwink
chiliad a thousand things or a thousand years
cicisbeo a married woman’s male companion or lover
circumjacent surrounding
circumvallate surround with a rampart or wall
clarion loud and clear
cleanse restore to health
cleave to stick fast to
clepsydra an early clock using the flow of water into or out of a container
clerk a literate or scholarly person
clew a ball of thread
clout a piece of cloth or clothing
cockcrow dawn
collogue talk confidentially
colporteur a person who peddles books, newspapers, or other writings, especially bibles and religious tracts
comess W. Indian a confused or noisy situation
commend entrust someone or something to
commensalism an association between two organisms in which one benefits from the relationship and the other derives neither harm nor benefit
comminatory threatening, punitive, or vengeful
commons provisions shared in common; rations
communicant a person who imparts information
compass encircle or surround
compeer a companion or close associate
con study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)
concinnity elegance or neatness of literary or artistic style
condition social position
congius an ancient Roman liquid measure equal in modern terms to about 6 imperial pints
conjure implore (someone) to do something
conniption (or conniption fit) N. Amer. informal a fit of rage or hysterics
constellate to gather together in a cluster or group
contemn treat or regard with contempt
contumely insolent or insulting language or treatment
coprolalia the involuntary repetitive use of obscene language
cordwainer a shoemaker
coriaceous like leather
corrupt rotten or putrid
corse a corpse
coruscate flash or sparkle
cottier a rural labourer living in a cottage
couthy Scottish (of a person) warm and friendly; (of a place) cosy and comfortable
coxcomb a vain and conceited man; a dandy
crapulent relating to the drinking of alcohol
crescent growing
crinkum-crankum elaborate decoration or detail
criticaster a minor or incompetent critic
crookback a person with a hunchback
crore Indian ten million
crottle a lichen used in Scotland to make a brownish dye for wool
croze a groove at the end of a cask or barrel in which the head is fixed
crumpet a person’s head
cruse an earthenware pot or jar
cryptozoology the search for and study of animals whose existence is unproven, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti
cudbear a purple or violet powder used for dyeing, made from lichen
cully a friendly form of address for a man
cupreous of or like copper
cutpurse a pickpocket
cyanic blue; azure
dame an elderly or mature woman
damsel a young unmarried woman
dandiprat a young or insignificant person
darbies handcuffs
dariole a small round metal mould used in French cooking for an individual sweet or savoury dish
dark ignorant
darkling relating to growing darkness
deasil clockwise or in the direction of the sun’s course
decubitus Medicine the posture of someone who is lying down or lying in bed
deedy industrious or effective
deep, the the sea
defervescence Medicine the lessening of a fever
deglutition the action or process of swallowing
degrade reduce to a lower rank, especially as a punishment
degree social or official rank
degust to taste food or drink carefully, so as to fully appreciate it
deipnosophist a person skilled in the art of dining and dinner-table conversation
delate report (an offence)
dell a small valley
demesne a region or domain
demit resign from (an office or position)
demoralize corrupt the morals of
deracinate to tear something up by the roots
deterge to cleanse something thoroughly
dight clothed or equipped; also, to make something ready for use
dingle a deep wooded valley
discover divulge (a secret)
disembogue to emerge or pour out (used of a river or stream)
disenthral to set someone free from enslavement
disport frolic
dispraise censure or criticize
divagate to stray or digress
divaricate to stretch or spread apart
divers of varying types
Dives a rich man
doit a very small amount of money
dolour great sorrow
dome a stately building
donkey engine a small auxiliary engine on a ship
donkeyman a man working in a ship’s engine room
doodle sack n. – old English word for bagpipe
doryphore a pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic of others
dot a dowry from which only the interest or annual income was available to the husband
dotish W. Indian stupid or silly
douceur a financial inducement or bribe
doxy a lover or mistress
drab a slovenly woman
draff dregs or refuse
dragoman an interpreter or professional guide for travellers, especially one in countries in which Arabic, Turkish, or Persian is spoken
drought thirst
dulcify sweeten
dumbsize to reduce the staff numbers of a company to such low levels that work can no longer be carried out effectively
dwaal S. African a dreamy, dazed, or absent-minded state
ecdysiast a striptease performer
edacious having to do with eating or fond of eating
effable able to be described in words. Its opposite, ineffable, is more widely used.
effulgent shining brightly
egad exclamation of surprise, anger, or affirmation
eld old age
emacity fondness for buying things
embarrass hamper or impede
embouchure the mouth of a river
eminence a piece of rising ground
emmetropia the normal condition of the eye: perfect vision
empasm a perfumed powder sprinkled on the body to prevent sweating or for medicinal purposes
empyrean the sky
ensorcell to enchant or fascinate someone
entomophagy the eating of insects, especially by people
equipage gear; equipment
ere before (in time)
ere before
erf S. African a plot of land
ergometer an apparatus which measures energy expended during physical exercise
erinaceous adj. – of, pertaining to, or resembling a hedgehog
erne a sea eagle
erubescent reddening or blushing
espousal a marriage or engagement
espy catch sight of
estate a particular state, period, or condition in life
esurient hungry
ether the clear sky
etui a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles
eucatastrophe a happy ending to a story
eurhythmic in harmonious proportion
evanescent quickly fading
eviternity eternal existence or everlasting duration
exequies funeral rites
expectations one’s prospects of inheritance
expiry death
exsanguine bloodless or anaemic
extramundane outside or beyond the physical world
eye candy visual images that are superficially attractive and entertaining but intellectually undemanding
eyewater W. Indian tears
fain pleased or willing under the circumstances
fainéant an idle or ineffective person
fair beautiful
famulus an assistant or attendant, especially one working for a magician or scholar
fandangle a useless or purely ornamental thing
fane a shrine or temple
fankle Scottish to tangle or entangle something
fare travel
farewell goodbye
fell an animal skin; a pelt
feminal feminine; womanly
fervent hot or glowing
fervid hot or glowing
fidus Achates a faithful friend
fie exclamation used to express disgust or outrage
filibeg a kilt
finny relating to fish
fipple the mouthpiece of a recorder or similar wind instrument
firmament the sky
firman n. – in Turkey and some other Oriental countries, a decree or mandate issued by the sovereign
fishwife a woman who sells fish
fizgig a silly or flirtatious young woman
flatline to die
flaxen pale yellow
fleer jeer or laugh disrespectfully
flews the thick pendulous lips of a bloodhound or similar dog
flexuous full of bends and curves
floccinaucinihilipilification the action or habit of estimating something as worthless (a word generally only quoted as a curiosity)
flocculent having or resembling tufts of wool
flux diarrhoea or dysentery
force-ripe West Indian old or mature in certain respects without having developed fully in others
forehanded chiefly N. Amer. prudent or thrifty
forfend avert or prevent (something evil or unpleasant)
forsooth indeed
fourscore eighty
freak a whim
frondeur a political rebel
frore frozen or frosty
froward (of a person) difficult to deal with; contrary
fruit offspring
fudge nonsense
fugacious transient or fleeting
fulgent shining brightly
fulguration a flash like lightning
fuliginous sooty; dusky
fulminate explode violently
funambulist a tightrope walker
furbelow adorn with trimmings
furbish polish (a weapon)
furuncle a boil
fuscous dark and sombre in colour
futhark the Scandinavian runic alphabet
futz to waste time or busy oneself aimlessly
gabelle n. – a tax on salt
gaberlunzie Scottish archaic a beggar
gadzooks an expression of surprise or annoyance
gage a valued object deposited as a guarantee
gaita a kind of bagpipe played in northern Spain and Portugal
gallant a dashing gentleman
galligaskins a type of loose breeches worn in the 16th and 17th centuries
gallus Scottish bold or daring
gammer an old woman
garland a literary anthology
garth a yard or garden
gasconade extravagant boasting
gaud a trinket
gentle noble or courteous
gird secure with a belt
glabriety baldness
glabrous (of skin) hairless or (of a leaf) having no down
glaciate freeze over
glaikit Scottish & N. English stupid, foolish, or thoughtless
glaive a sword
glebe a meadow
glim a candle
gloaming dusk
gnathic having to do with the jaws
gobemouche a gullible or credulous listener
goodly attractive, excellent, or virtuous
goody (with a name) an elderly woman of humble position
grateful received with gratitude
greensward grassy ground
greenwood a forest
grimalkin a cat
guddle Scottish to fish with one’s hands by groping under the stones or banks of a stream
gudgeon a credulous person
guerdon a reward
gyre whirl or gyrate
gyve a fetter or shackle
habile deft or skilful
habiliment clothing
halfpace n. – a platform of a staircase where the stair turns back in exactly the reverse direction of the lower flight
hallux Anatomy the big toe
halt lame
handmaid a female servant
hark listen
haruspex a religious official in ancient Rome who inspected the entrails of sacrificial animals in order to foretell the future
hearken listen
hence from here
herbary a herb garden
hereat as a result of this
hereunto to this document
hereupon after or as a result of this
hie go quickly
higgler W. Indian a person who travels from place to place selling small items
hight named
hinky US informal dishonest, suspect, or unreliable
hither to or toward this place
hoar frost
hoddy-noddy a foolish person
hodiernal of today
hoggin a mixture of sand and gravel, used especially in road-building
hongi a traditional Maori greeting or salutation made by pressing or touching noses
horripilation gooseflesh; hair standing on end
horse-coper a person who deals in horses
horseless carriage a car
host an army
howbeit nevertheless
howff Scottish a favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub
humdudgeon an imaginary illness
husbandman a farmer
hwyl a stirring feeling of emotional motivation and energy which is associated with the Welsh people
hymeneal relating to marriage
ichor blood, or a fluid likened to it
illude trick someone
illywhacker Austral. informal a small-time confidence trickster
imbrue stain one’s hand or sword with blood
immedicable untreatable
imminent overhanging
impignorate v. – to pawn or mortgage something (NOT: v. – to impregnate a pig)
impuissant powerless
in sooth actually
incarnadine colour (something) crimson
incrassate thickened in form or consistency
incunabula books printed before 1501
indite write; compose
ingrate ungrateful
ingurgitate to swallow something greedily
inhume bury
inly inwardly
inscribe enter the name of (someone) on a list
inspissate to thicken or congeal
intelligence news
intelligencer a person who gathers intelligence
inunct to apply ointment to someone or something
invest surround (a place) in order to besiege or blockade it
ire anger
iron horse a steam locomotive
isle an island
izzard the letter Z
jade a bad-tempered or disreputable woman
jakes an outdoor toilet
jentacular adj. – pertaining to breakfast
job turn a public office or a position of trust to private advantage
jumbuck Austral. informal a sheep
jumentous resembling horse’s urine
jungli Indian uncultured or wild
kakorrhaphiophobia n. – fear of failure
karateka a person who performs karate
keek Scottish to peep surreptitiously
kenspeckle Scottish conspicuous or easily recognizable
kickshaw a fancy but insubstantial cooked dish
kine cows collectively
kinnikinnick a substance consisting of dried sumac leaves and willow or dogwood bark, smoked by North American Indians
kirtle a woman’s gown or a man’s tunic
knave a dishonest or unscrupulous man
knell the sound of a bell
labarum a banner or flag bearing symbolic motifs
lachrymal connected with weeping or tears
lactarium a dairy
lacustrine associated with lakes
lambent softly glowing or flickering
lamprophony n. – loudness and clarity of enunciation
larcener thief
latchet a narrow thong or lace for fastening a shoe or sandal
laud praise
lave wash or wash over
laver a basin or similar container used for washing oneself
lay a song
lea an area of grassy land
learn teach
leech a doctor or healer
leman a lover or sweetheart
lenity kindness or gentleness
let hinder
levant abscond leaving unpaid debts
Levant the eastern part of the Mediterranean
levy a body of enlisted troops
lief as happily; as gladly
lightsome nimble
like enough probably
limn represent in painting or words
liripipe the long dangling tail of a medieval academic hood
loathly repulsive
loblolly a North American pine tree with very long slender needles
lobola among southern African peoples, the money or cattle given by a bridegroom’s family to the bride’s family
logomachy an argument about words
lollygag to spend time in an aimless or lazy way
lordling a minor lord
love apple a tomato
lucent shining
luculent (of speech or writing) clearly expressed
lurdan an idle or incompetent person
lycanthropy the supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf
lying-in seclusion before and after childbirth
macrosmatic adj. – having a good sense of smell
macushla Irish an affectionate form of address
madding acting madly; frenzied
mage a magician or learned person
magnify glorify; extol
maid a girl or young woman
main, the the open ocean
malapert presumptuous and impudent
malefic causing harm
malison a curse
mallam a learned man or scribe in Nigeria and other parts of Africa
mamaguy W. Indian to try to deceive someone by flattering them or telling them lies
man-at-arms a soldier
manifold many and various
marge a margin
marry an expression of surprise, indignation, or emphatic assertion
martlet Heraldry a small, swallow-like bird with tufts of feathers in place of legs and feet
mayhap perhaps; possibly
mazed bewildered
mazel tov a Jewish expression used to congratulate someone or wish them good luck
meacock a coward or effeminate person
mead a meadow
measure a dance
meat food of any kind
mechanical a manual worker
meet suitable or proper
melodist a singer
mephitic foul-smelling
mere a lake or pond
merkin an artificial covering of hair for the pubic area
merrythought a bird’s wishbone
methinks it seems to me
mim Scottish modest or demure in an affected or priggish way
mimsy rather feeble and prim or over-restrained (coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass)
minacious menacing or threatening
minibeast Brit. informal a small invertebrate animal such as an insect or spider
misogamy the hatred of marriage
mistigris a joker or other extra card played as a wild card in some versions of poker
mixologist N. Amer. informal a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks
moil drudgery
mollitious luxurious or sensuous
momism excessive attachment to or domination by one’s mother
monorchid having only one testicle
moon a month
mooncalf a foolish person
morrow, the the following day
mudlark a person who scavenges in riverside mud at low tide for anything of value
muktuk the skin and blubber of a whale, eaten by the Inuit people
muliebrity womanliness
mummer an actor in the theatre
mumpsimus a traditional custom or notion that is adhered to although it has been shown to be unreasonable
nacarat a bright orange-red colour
nainsook a fine, soft cotton fabric, originally made in the Indian subcontinent
natation swimming
natheless nevertheless
natural a person born with impaired intelligence
naught nothing
nay no
neat a bovine animal or animals
nescient lacking knowledge; ignorant
nesh Brit. dialect weak, delicate, or feeble
nice fastidious
nigh near
nithing a contemptible or despicable person
niveous snowy
noctambulist a sleepwalker
nocuous noxious, harmful, or poisonous
noise (something) about talk about or make known publicly
noisome foul-smelling
noyade an execution carried out by drowning
nubbing- cheat a gallows
nudiustertian n. – the day before yesterday (NOT: n. – a martian nudist)
nugacity triviality or frivolity
numbles a deer’s entrails as food
nymph a beautiful young woman
nympholepsy passion or rapture aroused in men by beautiful young girls
obnubilate to darken, dim, or obscure something
ogdoad a group or set of eight
omophagy the eating of raw food, especially meat
omphalos the centre or hub of something
onolatry the worship of donkeys or asses
operose involving or displaying a lot of effort
opsimath a person who begins to learn or study late in life
orb an eye
orectic having to do with desire or appetite
orgulous proud or haughty
orison a prayer
orrery a clockwork model of the solar system, or the sun, earth, and moon
ortanique a cross between an orange and a tangerine
orts scraps; remains
otalgia earache
otherwhere elsewhere
otiose lazy; slothful
overbrim spill; overflow
overleap jump over or across
overset capsize; flip over
oxter n. – outdated word meaning “armpit” (NOT: n. – a creature that is half ox, half otter)
pale an area within determined bounds or subject to a particular jurisdiction
palfrey a docile riding horse
paludal living or occurring in a marshy habitat
Pantagruelian enormous
panurgic able or ready to do anything
parapente an aerofoil parachute, used for gliding
paraph a flourish after a signature
pate a person’s head
patulous (of the boughs of a tree, for example) spreading
pauciloquent adj. – uttering few words; brief in speech
pavonine to do with or resembling a peacock
paynim a pagan
peccant sinful; offending
pedicular to do with lice
peeler a police officer
peely-wally Scottish looking pale and unwell
peever Scottish hopscotch
pelf money, especially when gained dishonestly
pellucid translucent
peradventure perhaps
perchance by some chance
peregrinate travel or wander from place to place
perfervid intense and impassioned
perfidious deceitful and untrustworthy
periapt an item worn as a charm or amulet
pest bubonic plague
pestilence a fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague
petcock a small valve in a steam engine or boiler, used for drainage or for reducing pressure
peterman a person who breaks open and robs safes
pettitoes pig’s trotters, especially as food
philippic a bitter verbal attack
physic medicinal drugs or medical treatment
piacular making or requiring atonement
picaroon a scoundrel
piepowder a traveller or an itinerant merchant or trader
pilgarlic a bald-headed man, or a person regarded with mild contempt
pinguid resembling fat; oily or greasy
piscatorial connected with fishermen or fishing
pismire an ant
pistoleer a soldier armed with a pistol
plain over lament; cry over
plangent loud and mournful
plash a splashing sound
plenteous plentiful
pleurodynia severe pain in the muscles between the ribs or in the diaphragm
plew a beaver skin
plight solemnly pledge or promise (faith or loyalty)
plumbless extremely deep
poesy poetry
pogey Canadian informal unemployment or welfare benefit
pollard an animal that has lost its horns or cast its antlers
pollex Anatomy the thumb
poltroon an utter coward
pooter a suction bottle for collecting insects and other small invertebrates
popinjay a parrot
pore on think about
portage the action of carrying or transporting
portion a person’s destiny or lot
portolan a book containing sailing directions with hand-drawn charts and descriptions of harbours and coasts
posology the branch of medicine concerned with the size and frequency of doses of a medicine or a drug
possident a possessor, i.e. a person who owns something
posy a short motto or line of verse inscribed inside a ring
potation a beverage
pother a commotion or fuss
pouncet-box a small box with a perforated lid used for holding a substance impregnated with perfume
pre-loved second-hand
presenteeism the compulsion to spend longer at work than is required or to continue working despite illness
previse to foresee or predict an event
prithee please
probang a strip of flexible material with a sponge or tuft at the end, used to remove a foreign body from the throat or to apply medication to it
profess teach (a subject) as a professor
prosopagnosia an inability to recognize the faces of familiar people, typically as a result of brain damage
prothalamium a song or poem celebrating a wedding
puddle jumper a small, light aircraft which is fast and highly manoeuvrable and used for short trips
puddysticks S. African children’s word very easy
puissant powerful or influential
pulchritude beauty
purblind short-sighted
purfle an ornamental or embroidered edge of a garment
purl flow with a babbling sound
pyknic a technical description of a stocky physique with a rounded body and head, thickset trunk, and a tendency to fat
pyroclastic relating to fragments of rock erupted by a volcano
pythoness a woman believed to be possessed by a spirit and to be able to foresee the future
quaggy marshy or boggy
quality high social standing
quean an impudent girl or woman
quick, the the living
quidnunc an inquisitive and gossipy person
quire n. – two dozen sheets of paper
quiz look intently at (someone)
quoth said (in I/he/she quoth)
rack (of a cloud) be driven by the wind
ragtop a convertible car with a soft roof
raiment clothing
rapscallion a mischievous person
rathe-ripe (of fruit) ripening early in the year; (of a person) precocious
ratite (of a bird such as the ostrich or emu) unable to fly because of having a flat breastbone, to which no flight muscles are attached
ratoon n. – small shoot growing from the root of a plant (NOT: n. – the offspring of interbreeding rats and raccoons)
rawky foggy, damp, and cold
razzia a raid carried out by Moors in North Africa
realm a kingdom
reave carry out a plundering raid
rebirthing a form of therapy involving controlled breathing and intended to simulate the trauma of being born
receipt a recipe
recipe a medical prescription
recompense punish or reward appropriately
recreant cowardly
rede advice or counsel
reduce besiege and capture (a town or fortress)
refulgent shining brightly
relieve make (something) stand out
remit diminish
rend tear to pieces
repair an abode or haunt
repine be discontented
repulsive lacking friendliness or sympathy
retiform resembling a net
Rhadamanthine stern and incorruptible in judgement
riband a ribbon
roundelay a short, simple song with a refrain
rover a pirate
rubescent reddening
rubiginous rust-coloured
rubricate to add elaborate capital letters (typically red ones) or other decorations to a manuscript
rude ignorant and uneducated
rug rat N. Amer. a child
rumpot N. Amer. a habitual or heavy drinker
ruth a feeling of pity, distress, or grief
rutilant glowing or glittering with red or golden light
sables black mourning clothes
sacring the consecration of a bishop, a sovereign, or the Eucharistic elements
saddle-bow the pommel of a saddle
salamander a red-hot iron or poker
salopettes n. – high-waisted skiing pants with shoulder straps
sanative healing
sangoma a traditional healer or witch doctor in southern Africa
sanguinary involving or causing much bloodshed
sans without
sap make (a building, etc.) insecure by removing its foundations
sarmie S. African informal a sandwich
saturnism lead poisoning
saucier a sauce chef
saudade a feeling of longing or melancholy that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament
scantling a specimen, sample, or small amount
scapegrace a mischievous person; a rascal
scaramouch a boastful but cowardly person
schoolman a teacher
science knowledge
sciolist a person who pretends to be knowledgeable
scofflaw a person who flouts the law
scold a woman who nags or grumbles constantly
scot a tax-like payment
scrag a neck
scribe write
scrippage one’s baggage and personal belongings
scruple a very small amount of something, especially a quality
scullion a menial servant
scurvy worthless or contemptible
sea coal mineral coal
sea smoke fog
sea-girt surrounded by sea
seizing a length of cord or rope on board a ship
selkie Scottish a mythical sea creature like a seal in water but human on land
sempiternal everlasting
sennight a week
sepulture burial
serac a pinnacle or ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier
serpent a snake
sesquipedalian (of a word) having many syllables or (of a piece of writing) using many long words
shade a ghost
shallop a light sailing boat used chiefly for coastal fishing
shamal a hot, dry north-westerly wind that blows across the Persian Gulf in summer and causes sandstorms
shambles a slaughterhouse
shavetail US military slang a newly commissioned officer, or any inexperienced person
ship of the desert a camel
shippon Brit. dialect a cattle shed
shofar a ram’s-horn trumpet used in Jewish religious ceremonies and, in ancient times, to sound a battle signal
shore country by the sea
shrift forgiveness
shrive (of a priest) absolve (a person making a confession)
silly helpless; defenceless
sippet a small piece of bread or toast for dipping into soup or sauce
skanky N. Amer. informal revolting
skelf Scottish a splinter or sliver of wood
skimmington a kind of procession once undertaken to make an example of a nagging wife or an unfaithful husband
skirt an edge, border, or extreme part
skycap a porter at an airport
slay kill in a violent way
slay kill
slipshod (of shoes) worn down at the heel
slugabed a lazy person who stays in bed late
slumber sleep
small beer weak beer
smite defeat or conquer
snakebitten N. Amer. informal unlucky or doomed to misfortune
snollygoster a shrewd or unprincipled person
soak drink heavily
sockdolager US informal a heavy blow
soft tack bread, especially as rations for sailors or soldiers
soil a stain
solander a protective box made in the form of a book, for holding items such as botanical specimens, maps, and colour plates
sooth truth
sore extremely; severely
soucouyant a kind of witch, in eastern Caribbean folklore, who is believed to shed her skin by night and suck the blood of her victims
soul case N. Amer. & W. Indian the human body
soul catcher a hollowed bone tube used by a North American Indian medicine man to keep a sick person’s soul safe while they are sick
spaghettification the process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole
speed success; prosperity
spence a pantry or larder
spitchcock an eel, split and then grilled or fried
splanchnic having to do with the the viscera or internal organs, especially those of the abdomen
spurrier a person who makes spurs
star-crossed ill-fated
statuary a sculptor
steed a horse
steed a horse
stercoraceous consisting of or resembling dung or faeces
sternutator something that causes sneezing
stiction the frictional force which hinders an object from being moved while in contact with another
stilly still and quiet
storied celebrated in stories
stoup a container for drinking beer, etc.; a flagon
strand a shore
strappado a punishment or torture in which the victim was hoisted in the air on a rope and then allowed to fall almost to the ground before being stopped with an abrupt jerk
strigil an instrument with a curved blade used by ancient Greeks and Romans to scrape sweat and dirt from the skin in a hot-air bath or after exercise
stripe a blow with a lash
strumpet a female prostitute or a promiscuous woman
struthious having to do with or resembling an ostrich
Stygian very dark
stylite a early Christian ascetic who lived standing on top of a pillar
subfusc the dark formal clothing worn for examinations and ceremonial or formal occasions at some universities.
submontane passing under or through mountains, or situated on the lower slopes of a mountain range
success a good or bad outcome
succuss to shake something vigorously, especially a homeopathic remedy
sudd an area of floating vegetation that impedes navigation in a stretch of the White Nile
suedehead a youth like a skinhead but with slightly longer hair and smarter clothes
suffer endure; tolerate
summer a year of a person’s age
sun-grazing (of a comet) having an orbit which passes close to the sun
superbious proud and overbearing
superette N. Amer. a small supermarket
supernal relating to the sky or the heavens
surety, of/for a for certain
susurration a whispering or rustling sound
swain a young lover or suitor
swash flamboyantly swagger about or wield a sword
sweeting darling
sweetmeat an item of confectionery or sweet food
sword, the military power; violence
sylvan wooded
taiga a forest
taniwha a mythical monster which, according to Maori legend, lives in very deep water
tantivy a rapid gallop or ride
tappen the plug by which the rectum of a bear is closed during hibernation
tapster a person who serves at a bar
tarry delay leaving
tellurian of or inhabiting the earth, or an inhabitant of the earth
temerarious rash or reckless
tenebrous dark; shadowy
tenter a person in charge of something, especially factory machinery
testudo a device used in siege warfare in ancient Rome, consisting of a wheeled screen with an arched roof (literally a ‘tortoise’)
thalassic relating to the sea
thaumatrope a scientific toy devised in the 19th century. It consisted of a disc with a different picture on each of its two sides: when the disc was rotated rapidly about a diameter, these pictures appeared to combine into one image.
thenceforth from that time, place, or point onward
thereunto to that
therewith with or in the thing mentioned
thirstland S. African a desert or large arid area
thither to or toward that place
threescore sixty
thrice three times
thrice three times
thrutch N. English a narrow gorge or ravine
thurifer a person carrying a censer, or thurible, of burning incense during religious ceremonies
tidings news; information
tiffin chiefly Indian a light meal, especially lunch
tigon the hybrid off spring of a male tiger and a lioness (the offspring of a male lion and a tigress being a liger)
tilt with engage in a contest with
timbrel a tambourine or similar instrument
’tis it is
tithe a tenth
tittynope n. – a small quantity of something left over
tocsin an alarm bell or signal
toilsome involving hard work
tokoloshe in African folklore, a mischievous and lascivious hairy water sprite
tope drink to excess
tope drink alcohol to excess
toplofty N. Amer. informal haughty and arrogant
transpicuous transparent
travail painful or laborious effort
trespass a sin or offence
trig neat and smart
trigon a triangle
triskaidekaphobia extreme superstition about the number thirteen
triskelion a Celtic symbol consisting of three radiating legs or curved lines, such as the emblem of the Isle of Man
troth faith or loyalty when pledged in a solemn undertaking
troublous full of troubles
truck an exchange or transaction
tryst a rendezvous between lovers
tsantsa a human head shrunk as a war trophy by the Jivaro people of Ecuador
turbary the legal right to cut turf or peat for fuel on common ground or on another person’s ground
turnkey a jailer
‘tween between
tweeny a maid who assisted both the cook and the housemaid
twelvemonth a year
ulotrichous adj. – having wooly or crispy hair
ulu a short-handled knife with a broad crescent-shaped blade, used by Inuit women.
umbriferous shady
uncinate (of a part of the body) having a hooked shape
uncle a pawnbroker
uncommon remarkably
unhand release from one’s grasp
uniped a person or animal with only one foot or leg
unman deprive of manly qualities
up to snuff up to the required standard
uroboros a circular symbol depicting a snake (or a dragon) swallowing its tail, intended as an emblem of wholeness or infinity
usher an assistant teacher
ustad Indian an expert or highly skilled person, especially a musician
vagarious erratic and unpredictable in behaviour or direction
vale a farewell; a send-off
valetudinarian n. – a sickly or weak person, especially one who is constantly and morbidly concerned with his or her health
varlet an unprincipled rogue
velleity a wish or inclination which is not strong enough to lead one to take action
venery hunting
verily truly; certainly
verjuice a sour juice obtained from crab apples or unripe grapes
verse a line of poetry
very real; genuine
vestal chaste; pure
vesture clothing
vicinal neighbouring or adjacent
vidiot N. Amer. informal a habitual, undiscriminating watcher of television or videotapes
virescent greenish
viridescent greenish or becoming green
virtue virginity
visage a person’s face
visionary existing only in the imagination
vomitous N. Amer. nauseating or repulsive
wabbit Scottish exhausted or slightly unwell
wain a wagon or cart
wait on/upon pay a respectful visit to
waits street singers of Christmas carols
want lack or be short of
ware of aware of
wassail revelry
wast second person singular past of be
watch remain awake as religious observance
watchful wakeful
watchword a military password
wax become larger or stronger
wayfarer a person who travels on foot
weasand the oesophagus or gullet
wed marry
ween think or suppose; be of the opinion
welkin, the the sky or heaven
wench a girl or young woman
whence from what place or source
whereat at which
wherefore for what reason
wherewith with or by which
whilom formerly
whited sepulchre a hypocrite
whither to what place or state
wife a woman, especially an old or uneducated one
wight a person of a specified kind
wind blow (a bugle)
winebibber a heavy drinker
wise manner, way, or extent
wish book N. Amer. informal a mail-order catalogue
withal in addition
without outside
wittol a man who knows of and tolerates his wife’s infidelity
wondrous inspiring wonder
wont accustomed
wonted usual
wool-stapler a dealer in wool
woopie an affluent retired person able to pursue an active lifestyle (from the initials of well-off older person)
wowser chiefly Austral./NZ a puritanical, prudish person or a killjoy
wrathful extremely angry
wreathe twist or entwine
wright a maker or builder
xenology the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena
xertz v. – to gulp down quickly and greedily
yarborough n. – hand of cards containing no card above a nine
yclept by the name of
ye you
yea yes
ylem (in big bang theory) the primordial matter of the universe
yoke the amount of land that one pair of oxen could plough in a day
yon yonder; that
yonder over there
yore of former ties or long ago
youngling a young person or animal
zephyr a soft, gentle breeze
zetetic proceeding by inquiry or investigation
zoanthropy n. – delusion of a person who believes himself changed into an animal
zoolatry the worship of animals
zopissa a medicinal preparation made from wax and pitch scraped from the sides of ships
zorro a South American kind of fox
zounds an expression of surprise or indignation
Zyrian a former term for Komi, a language spoken in an area of Russia west of the Urals; at present the last entry in the Oxford English Dictionary