Word Nerd – “A”

I have a book called Word Nerd. It is basically a dictionary on crack. It features odd definitions, words you never knew existed, and tons of etymological fun facts! There are so many crazy and interesting words and definitions and I felt that I needed to share some! Here are just a few that I have found thumbing through.

abracadabrant means “marvelous or stunning”

an abrazo is a greeting of a bear hug and a back pat

acrasia is acting against your better judgement or a lack of self-control

an acroama is a dramatic recitation during a meal

actor was originally an agent or administrator and in Latin it meant “doer”

aeaeae is “magic” – and is derived from aealae artes, “magic arts”

agathokakological means “made of good and evil”

agglutination is the formation of new words by combining other word or word elements

the aigrette is the feathery top of a dandelion

aileron is literally “little or small wing”

fear of chickens is alektorophobia

alieniloquy is a word for rambling or evasive

alpenglow is the rosy lighting of the setting or rising sun as seen on high mountains

altivolent means flying high, as an eagle

alto, which means high, was formerly the highest male voice (now coutnertenor) but is now the lowest female voice
(I always knew I was a high man voice and not a low female voice!)

one meaning of amaranth is a “flower that never fades”

amen is from Hebrew meaning “truth, certainty” and it is generally accepted as mean “so be it”

amentia is being out of one’s mind with joy, in a rapturous daze

in the summer you might have anadipsia, great or excessive thirst

anaudia is a loss of voice

people who live on the same longitude but on opposite sides of the equator are antiscians

aposiopesis is stopping in the middle of a statement upon realizing that someone’s feeling are hrut or about to be hurt; also when a sentence trails off or falls silent

apple is one the oldest English words and first referred to fruit in general

applesquire is an obsolete term for a pimp

an aquabob is a cute name for an icicle

an ascian is one who has no shadow

a love song at dawn is an aubade, the opposite of serenade

aura originally denoted a gentle breeze, now is more used to describe the energy field that radiates from all living organisms

avocado comes from the Aztec word ahucatl, “testicle,” and guacamole comes from ahuacatl-molli, “avocado sauce.”
(yup folks….guacamole means testicle sauce.)

And that about does it for “A.” Quite a good one to end on as well!! Look out for more to come! : )


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