Cool Words

This page is dedicated to dispensing wordly (not worldly) wisdom. I will update it periodically with words that I find interesting.

Chutzpah (“C” is silent in pronunciation): It is a Hebrew word. To have chutzpah means to have near offensive levels of audacity. Example: A boy killed his parents and then asked the judge to show him mercy because he was an orphan. The boy had chutzpah.

Niggard: Most people will not use this word since it sounds too similar to the racist N word. A niggard is a stingy, miser individual.

Abstruse, Esoteric and Recondite: All of these high-brow sounding words have the same meaning; a subject that is not easily understood and very few people can make sense of it.

Dowager: Used as an adjective, a dowager is a lady who gets property and /or title from her husband. It historically applied to widows but I am sure in his day and age it applies to divorcees as well.

Palpable: A simple word but not used often enough. It conveys a sense of feeling something clearly but not overwhelmingly.

Reproach: To reproach someone means to express disappointment in their actions or behavior. To be beyond reproach is to be flawless.

Flibbertigibbet: Describes a whimsical, flighty, absent-minded and quirky young woman.

Facetious: Exact opposite of serious and usually inappropriate.

Disabuse: Nothing to do with abuse whatsoever; to disabuse is to clarify a wrong notion or idea.

Perfunctory: Quite a few of our acts in our lives are perfunctory in nature; done in a superficial manner without any real intent or meaning.

Zephyr: Favorable light wind that blows from the west.

Polymath: Someone who displays considerable mastery in multiple disciplines.

Minx: Cheeky, mischievous and flirtatious girl.

Junta (pronounced as hoonta): In Spanish this means a committee; in English it usually applies to a military led committee.

Frippery: Similar in meaning to hoopla, unnecessary decoration or ornament surrounding the main object/event.

Leery: To be leery of means to be suspicious of or be wary of.

Leer: Men leer at women; sideways sexual glance, less obvious than ogling.

Fastidious: Obsessed with details, accuracy and cleanliness; difficult to please.

Inchoate: Not fully developed; nascent.

Facile: Achieved with little effort.

Milieu: Physical or social setting/surrounding/environment.

Kafkaesque: Surreal and incomprehensible complexity; bizarre and disorienting; named after Franz Kafka; his writing often conveyed this mood.

Jingoism: Extreme and belligerent nationalism/patriotism.

Redact: Revise or edit.

Gormless: Lacking intelligence, clueless.

Ineluctable: Inevitable, unavoidable.

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