Thursday, May 19, 2022

Underused Words


Axios - "Underused words for your repertoire"

Some 75% of our daily speaking comes from just 800 words, BBC estimates.

The big picture: We all fall into language patterns and ruts, so we asked Axios' staff to give us their favorite cool, underused words to lengthen our vocabulary lists.

Here are some fun ones worth elevating — and their Merriam-Webster definitions:

  • Apricity: the warmth of the sun in the winter

  • Protean: "displaying great diversity or variety," like an actor who can do both comedy and tragedy
  • Doyen: a person considered to be uniquely skilled and experienced in a certain field
  • Petrichor: the pleasant smell of the earth after a rainstorm following a long dry period
  • Spindrift: sea spray
  • Susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound (it sounds like what it means!)
  • Avuncular: "suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality"
  • Frabjous: wonderful, extraordinary, joyous (Fun fact: Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon used frabjous in a story once.)

The bottom line: We can always expand our vocabularies to communicate our ideas with more precision — or just find new words that make us smile.

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