Excuse the cacology

Excuse the cacology

We'll try to simplify things for you

Back by popular demand, more verbal obscurities collected by Highbrook’s Andy Cowan. Don’t expect any of these to pop up on Wordle…

Amphipneust: an animal with both lungs and gills

Aquabib: a water-drinker

Cacology: bad choice of words or faulty pronunciation

Gaping stock: an object of open-mouthed curiosity

Hapax: a word which occurs only once

Ictuate: to emphasise; to put metrical stress on

Ideophone: a word that is spoken but not written

Quidnunc: one who always wants to know what is going on

Mythomania: a compulsion to lie or exaggerate

Glossophobia: fear of talking

Groaking: staring at someone eating with the hope that they will give you something

Cunctator: a procrastinator, one who postpones, delays, lingers

Entasis: the slight swelling or convexity given to a shaft or column to create the optical illusion that the upright is perfectly straight.

Funambulist: a tightrope walker

Tetragrammaton: any word of four letters

Bum nuts: a naval term for eggs

Guddle: to fish with one’s hands by groping under the stones or banks of a stream

Toplofty: haughty and arrogant

Winebibber: a heavy drinker

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Lark Knutsen
Lark Knutsen

Writer and editor