Is Your Writing Dull and Boring? Yes? Well, Liven It Up With Some Really Interesting Words!

If You Think "Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious" Is The Last Word In Interesting Words, Try Some Of The Following

Sometimes when writing serious reports or other documents it helps me to try to work in a few interesting words. The game is to find a way to work them in legitimately. Using them as fictitious names is a last resort that should only be adopted if you are really stuck or you know that the people who will read your work are allergic to unusual words.

The table gives my current favourite words and, what I believe is, a brief definition of them. Please let me know any other words which you find amusing to work into your serious writing.

Please be aware that some of the definitions are just indications of the meaning - CHECK the real meaning before you decide to use it!

Interesting Word  Simple Definition 
Acaulescent  having a very short stem 
Agrestic  rude, uncultured, coarse 
Aleatory  accidental, chance, occurring randomly 
Banausic  dully mechanical, purely functional or materialistic 
Callipygian  having beautiful or elegantly shaped buttocks 
Casuistry  solving of moral dilemmas by the application of general principles of ethics 
Cenobiotic  pertaining to a community life, as of monks or uni-cellular organisms 
Condign  well deserved or well merited (usually of punishment) 
Confabulate  to chat 
Crepitus  crackling sound from the chest, as of pneumonia patient 
Defenestration  act of throwing someone or something out of a window 
Deipnosophist  one who excels at conversations at the dinner table 
Eleemosynary  relating to charity 
relating to nose blowing
Erinaceous  relating to, or resembling, hedgehogs 
Eructation  belching or like an eruption 
Exophagy  the practice, amongst cannibals, of not eating one's relatives or members of one's tribe 
Fescennine  extremely rude, outrageously coarse 
Floccinaucinihilipilification  describing something as worthless (the longest non-technical word in the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary) 
Gallinaceous  relating to, or resembling, chickens or pheasants 
Glabrous  smooth and bald 
Inanition  mental or spiritual hollowness 
Lamia  female enchantress or demon 
Logorrhoea  excessive talking 
Oleaginous  oily personality 
Pareidolia  a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus being perceived as significant, e.g. the man in the moon or seeing images in clouds 
Perspicacious  having keen mental perception and understanding 
Pleonasm  use of unnecessary or redundant words, e.g. "see with one's own eyes" 
Sciolism  pretentious superficial knowledge 
Sesquipedalian  using long words 
Steatopygia  development of fatty deposits in the buttocks, as among the Bushmen 
Stegophilist  one who climbs buildings for fun 
Syzygy  alignment of 3 celestial bodies in a straight line 
Tatterdemalion   a person wearing ragged or tattered clothing; a ragamuffin 
Tmesis  separation of the parts of a word by another word, e.g. abso-bloody-lutely 

Please send me any words you think should be added to this list by clicking here and sending an e-mail
Page last updated: 21/01/2009
New words last added: 21/01/2009
Thanks to Jason Heartisan, Kathleen Sheridan, Crys, Lewis Dowson, Greg Sprowl, Peter Anderson, Brian Fosco, John M. Owen, IV and others for contributions and spotting spelling mistakes
 Copyright © 2001 J Carpenter