Underused Words

Ruth Rendell, writer

Ruth Rendell, writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Words in colored font were adopted from the Oxford English Dictionary’s Save the Words.

1. whinge – to complain or whine

2. widdershins – in a direction contrary to the natural one, esp. contrary to the apparent course of the sun or counterclockwise: considered as unlucky or causing disaster
(Portobello - Ruth Rendell)

3. blatherskite – 1. a person given to voluble, empty talk 2. nonsense, blather

4. gnathonize – v – to flatter

5. leeftail – adj – in great demand

6. mulomedic – adj – relating to the medical care of mules

7. aquabib – n – water drinker

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15 thoughts on “Underused Words

  1. Pingback: Light Bread and Hanky-Panky | to write is to write is to write

  2. You make me frightened, Kathy. I knew about one or at most two of the words you quoted. And at 74 my poor memory doesn’t store things like that so easily.
    C’est la vie



  3. I added ‘mulomedic’ to my Facebook status after seeing this post, Kathy-this holiday weekend marks yet another ‘Mule Days’ celebration here in Bishop, California. Quite the event around here…
    Take care!


  4. Speaking as a Pom (see above) I’m very familiar with ‘whinge’, as are we all!

    Any student of English folklore or Gothic literature will know about ‘widdershins’ – I believe witches were supposed to ride widdershins as this was following your left hand, considering how unlucky this appendage was (witness pejorative phrases like ‘cack-handed’).

    I’d not heard of ‘blatherskite’, but here in the UK we use ‘blather’ as a noun and especially as a verb, as in ‘What are you blathering on about?’ when someone is prattling.

    The remaining four are all new to me, though I would have hazarded a correct guess at ‘aquabib’ from my passing acquaintance with Latin at school. I shall endeavour to slip those other words into everyday conversation now, so thanks for this post!


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