Sunday, June 3, 2007

Words I'll Probably Never Use In Conversation

1. hubris
Definition: exaggerated pride or self-confidence
Why I Won't Use It: Chronically uncertain of the pronunciation.
What I'll Say Instead: "balls"

2. lugubrious
Definition: exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful
Why I Won't Use It: Can never remember what the hell it means; it's too hard to say.
What I'll Say Instead: "overly bummed out"

3. parsimonious
Definition: frugal to the point of stinginess
Why I Won't Use It: What's the definition again? I forgot.
What I'll Say Instead: "stingy"

4. hoary
Definition: ancient; extremely old
Why I Won't Use It: Fear people will think I am saying "whore-y"
What I'll Say Instead: "really old"

5. bilious
Definition: of or relating to bile, of or indicative of a peevish ill-natured disposition, sickeningly unpleasant
Why I Won't Use It: I can't stop thinking it is a pretty word used to describe clouds.
What I'll Say Instead: "icky"

6. surreptitious
Definition: done, made, or acquired by stealth
Why I Won't Use It: Too many syllables.
What I'll Say Instead: "sneaky"

7. pugnacious
Definition: having a quarrelsome or combative nature
Why I Won't Use It: No real reason.
What I'll Say Instead: "always looking for a goddamn fight"

8. perspicacious
Definition: of acute mental vision or discernment
Why I Won't Use It: That's what it means? Really? And how many syllables? Four? Are you serious?
What I'll Say Instead: "totally on the ball"

9. chicanery
Definition: deception by artful subterfuge or sophistry
Why I Won't Use It: Who am I, some muckracking author from the 30's?
What I'll Say Instead: "a ripoff"

10. dilettante
Definition: an admirer or lover of the arts, a person having a superficial interest in an art or a branch of knowledge
Why I Won't Use It: Too close to debutante
What I'll Say Instead: "arty art person"


Tanya Espanya said...

4. I've been saying 'whore-moanal' during the pregnancy instead of hormonal. I'm a juvenile.

SamuraiFrog said...

I've actually used every one of these words in conversation, with the exception of "perspicacious." But I have used "perspicacity," and I think that should count for something.

Timothy Donavan Russell said...

I try to avoid saying "coupon", but I have no substitute.

Dale said...

I never say never.

lulu said...

I use or have used all of those words, somg quite frequently. Several of them were on my SAT frequently used vocabulary list this year. There is nothing quite as funny as a 16-year-old-boy telling you that he is feeling pugnatious.

Splotchy said...

tanya, juvenile is good. Look forward to much juvenile in the coming years.

samurai, you are evidently more perspicacious than I.

tim, how about "magic sparkle cost-cutting ticket".

dale, you're prolly right -- I could end up using all these words, particularly if I get stuck on an elevator with Dick Cavett.

lulu, you have very polite, well-spoken, violence-prone students.

jin said...


I request that you make this a regular feature.
"Splotchy's Synonym's"
Or some such simple striking saying...

I especially like your "What I'll say instead" answers.

lulu said...

They also walk down the hall singing "I am nefarious, that means I'm evil" repeatedly.

Splotchy said...

jin, it's a little embarrassing how many posts I could probably do on my inability to use the English language.

Heidi Nyburg said...

Ok so this is a word I use from time to time but have always wondered what the deal is with the dual pronunciation. Ready? Huge vs Yuge. Like with a Y. Why?
And, is it wrong that I sometimes want to kick the people that pronounce it "Yuge"

Splotchy said...

heidi, if you haven't seen it, you should check out Christopher Guest's movie "The Big Picture". Martin Short plays a Hollywood agent who is constantly advising his client that he is making a "yuuuge mistake".

Thanks for checking out me blog.