Slubberdegullion…words for superior people

Posted: March 5, 2019 in Words
Tags: , , , , , ,

We’re taking a break from Anguished English and language abuse to enjoy some words from The Superior Person’s Book of Words by Peter Bowler.  The word in the title, slubberdegullion, is “A glorious seventeenth-century term of contempt (found in Hudibras), apparently meaning a dirty, wretched slob.  What’s not to like about that?  🙂

Let’s see what else we can find.  All definitions are quotes from the book.

Nidificate v.   To build a nest.  You settle down in the quietness of the theater to enjoy the opening dream sequence of Wild Strawberries.  From the seat in front of you comes an insistent crackling and rustling of candy wrappings.  “Usher!” you call out in a loud voice, “I think the woman in front of me is nidificating in her seat!

Limaceous a.  Sluglike, having to do with slugs.  “Keep our hands to yourself, you limaceous endomorph!”

Zzxjoanw  n.  A Maori drum.  The recommended use is in Scrabble.  The technique is to save up, at all costs, the letters Z,X,J,O, and W (or a blank that can be used in place of any you don’t manage to acquire); to wait for a dangling AN on which you can build; and then to strike.   The satisfaction to be derived from this single act altogether outweighs whatever chagrin you might otherwise experience through losing the game, as you assuredly will–even that experienced through losing six games in succession, if need be, before you can effect your coup.

Uliginous  a.  Growing in muddy, oozy, or swampy places.  “Hmm,” you comment, after looking into your young brother’s bedroom, “I see Clive is going through another of his uliginous phases.”

Temulency  n.  Inebriation, drunkenness.  Another good one for sick-leave application forms.

Rugose  a.  Corrugated with wrinkles  “Ah, Mrs. Sandalbath, there must be many a woman half your age with a complexion not nearly as rugose as yours.”

Cicurate  v.  To tame, or reclaim from a state of wildness.  “Belinda, I’m not having that young man of yours in the house until he’s been thoroughly cicurated.”

Ante-jentacular  a.  Pre-breakfast (see anabiosis).  Goes nicely with post-prandial (after dinner.)

Anabiosis  m.  Revival after apparent death; reanimation after a coma so deep that all the vital signs have become imperceptible.  As you read the morning paper and sip your ante-jentacular (p.v.) coffee, you call out to your firstborn: “Roger, just pop into the bedroom for a moment, will you, and see if anabiosis has set in with your mother yet.”

OK, time to end this lexiphanic post.  I hope it brightened a/o enlightened your Tuesday (or perhaps Wednesday).  Much as it pains me to do so, I’m not going to tell you the meaning of lexiphanic.  You’ll have to look it up yourself.  🙂  That also makes the post heuristic.  Yes, I’m stopping.  I promise.

  1. temulency? sounds good and not as rude as plastered or baked LOL

  2. Su Leslie says:

    Hm. The book bills itself as non-fiction, but Maori never had drums. Nor does the Maori language contain z, x, j or w. Bit of trans-Tasman Kiwi-baiting going on perhaps. 😀😀

  3. ksbeth says:

    this is a riot – i love words and crazy bits of language

    • I do, too. Evidently I chose one example, the Maori drums, that’s one of the deliberate errors the author included for readers to try to catch. Su, from New Zealand, caught it, though. It was a fun explanation anyway.

  4. words4jp says:

    wowzers! I am digging’ this post! thanks for the inspiration!

    • 🙂 Glad you enjoyed i. I hope you read the comments as well, as there’s an entire thread going on there as well.


      • words4jp says:

        I will! I had a modern dance teacher – decades ago – who would always start the class with a word. Many times I never heard of it – as a result of this practice (I refer to it as a practice as opposed to a game) I began carrying my Websters Dictionary in my dance bag. Even now, I have the app on my phone, though I prefer the book! He believed we should expand our learning – not just in technique of dance or education, but in something as fundamental as language-communication. What an awesome gift he instilled in my teenage brain and one I have given to my boys!

      • That is a great gift and there are so many good words with different nuances that lie neglected by the vast majority of us. Good for him and good for you for passing that on. ❤️

  5. Dan Antion says:

    I love this particular look at words. Mind you, I don’t think I’ll be able to use many of them in the report I’m writing for my boss, unless it drives me to a state of temulency

  6. Superlative vocabulary additions! I must find a way to weave these words into daily conversation. It may be difficult to use seamlessly at first, but I’ll at least try to make it sound natural, and not like a result of temulency. 😉

  7. JT Twissel says:

    I love obscure words! Thanks for this you definitely brightened my day.

  8. joey says:

    I do believe a man seated near me in the dentist’s waiting room was nidificating it. I truly text my family that it took him a good five minutes to remove his gear, which he rather made into a pallet and then perched upon it not unlike an expectant hen. This is what I said. If only I had known the perfect word. Of course, my family would think nidificate was an autocorrect error, hm?

  9. de Wets Wild says:

    I can safely say that no one could ever accuse me of using any superior words like these – But I think next time I am in one of those meetings where everyone’s flinging around cliched yet meaningless jargon I might just try to whip out some of these!

  10. Love the wonderful plethora (one of my favs) of words.
    Thank you,