Favourite Words

Skeletal– relating to or functioning as a skeleton. I think this word is best with the UK pronunciation “skel-EE- tel” rather than the US “SKEL-eh-tel”.

Amnesia– loss of a block of interconnected memories. The soap opera disease! A cliché plot point so hackneyed that it almost makes me want to use it, just in case it comes back into fashion.  Even better is the adjective ‘amnestic’, as in “They were amnestic for the duration of their vacation on Secret Bloody Skull Island. They did not know exactly why. Privately, Charles suspected something terrible had happened.”

Harrowing – acutely distressing. Related to

  • the archaic transitive verb harrow: pillage, plun der, torment or vex
  • the noun  harrow : a gardening tool with spikes, spring teeth, or rotating disks that is used for pulverizing, crumbling, and raking the soil.

Truculent – argumentative, easily annoyed or angered. This is most of the people I know. Yeah, that’s it, they are the ones that are truculent, not me.  

Corporeal – relating to a physical material body; not spiritual.

Juggernaut – a massive force that crushes everything in its path. Derived from the Hindi name Jagannath, one of the avatars of Vishnu, Lord of the World.

Prestidigitation – slight of hand. Cobbled together from the French word preste (nimble), the Italian word presto (quick), and the Latin digitus (finger). Nimble Quickfinger! Nimble Quickfinger would be a great name for an androgynous, sexually voracious pickpocket in a high fantasy setting. Nimble Quickfinger, the scourge of all the brothels in King’s Landing! (apologies to George R.R. Martin).

Dropsy – archaic term for edema, swelling due to water retention

Endentulous – without teeth, as in “Grandad’s endentulous now, he finds it harrowing to eat a normal meal. He has become skeletal and truculent as a result. Furthermore, he can no longer practice prestidigitation due to his dropsy. It’s as though his corporeal body conspires against him and thwarts his every attempt at happiness. If it weren’t  for his near-total amnesia, he’d be hell to live with; a real juggernaut.”

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10 thoughts on “Favourite Words

  1. Here’s a subtle irony — “corporeal” is a word of choice for those (er, horror — I meant to put horror here!) authors when referring to dead bodies which had once been living but had recently met with bad spiritual mojo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you can only use words and phrases like “physical manifestation”, “physical body”, “meat suit”, “meat puppet” so often– eventually “corporeal” will need to come up. It also juxtaposes nicely with words like “spiritual” and “metaphysical”.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Edit your post in HTML rather than visual mode and you’ll notice there’s a “span” tag surrounding only that text which sets the font style to sans serif, among other things. Remove the extraneous HTML and you’ll be wright as reign… er, right as rain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mmmm… words. Such a wonderful subject!

    Perhaps my favourite is concinnity — the skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something; studied elegance of literary or artistic style.

    Yummy. :)

    Oh, and I think the phrase is “sleight of hand”, n’est ce pas?

    Like

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