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Logolatry is the worship of words and here at The Word Factory Ltd we’re all logomaniacs, ie we are ‘insanely interested in words’.

Here are a few that are not used very often but would impress anybody if they were dropped into a conversation. It shows the true depth of the English language that we can have all these words that provide excellent ways of expressing ourselves and yet are virtually redundant.

abditory
secret hiding place

agelast
a person who never smiles

ageusia
loss of sense of taste

agroof
lying face down

allonymous
ghost writing

amate
to terrify

anililagnia
sexual desire for older women

anomia
inability to remember names

apistia
faithless in marriage

apricate
expose to sunlight

aristology
the art of dining

awaped
made a fool of

axilla
an armpit

ballop
flap at front of breeches, cod piece

bam
trick, play joke on

beldam
ugly old woman

bibelot
small art object

bolus
horse pill

bowelless
without tenderness or pity

brabble
argue over nothing

breedbate
looking for an argument

brocked
mottled with white

brontophobia
fear of thunderstorms

brumous
misty, foggy

bubukle
red pimple

bumb
pimple

burbles
tingling pimples caused by stinging of nettles or some minute insects

burke
to strangle silently

capillose
hairy

carboy
large green bottle, wicker basket

chollers
double chins

cloaca
sewer, excretion passage in animals

collyfoxing
making a fool of someone, misleading

comfoozled
overcome, exhausted

compeer
an equal

corvine
of the crow family

cuculine
pertaining to a cuckoo

cwm
steep hollow in mountain

decoction
extraction of essence by boiling

deligation
bandaging

desparple
to scatter

dictionatical
approved by a dictionary

dinmont
one year old castrated sheep [wether]

double-sib
related by both father and mother

dorty
bad tempered

doxastic
pertaining to opinion

dreech
plodding, constant at work

durity
hardness

effable
something to be expressed

eigne
first born

emption
the act of buying

emunction
wiping, blowing nose

englottogaster
ventriloquist

erinaceous
pertaining to hedgehogs

exosculate
big, hearty kiss

fewterer
greyhound keeper

flocculent
covered with soft wooly tufts

flouse
dabble, splash, play in water

flueologist
chimney sweep

formist
creater of geometric word patterns

frab
to scold, nag

frampold
bad tempered, disagreeable

fremmed
strange, not related

fubsy
short and stout

fucated
painted, disguised

fussock
fat, ungainly woman

gallimellifry
mixture of brains and sweet-breads

glonders
the sulks, bad temper

gomeral
fool

grice
young pig

grouty
soiled, dirty looking

habnab
hit or miss, random

hereism
faithful in marriage

hipsy
mixture of wine, brandy and water

hircismus
smelly armpits

hot spong
sudden heat when sun comes from behind cloud

hunkerousness
opposition to progress, old fogeys

icker
ear of corn

infandous
unspeakably awful

iwis
certainly, by all means

jupe
shirt or blouse

jurr
sound of a waterfall rolling over loose rocks or pebbles

kintra-cooser
human stallion

knackatory
knick knack shop

kylie
Australian boomerang

lalluation
untintelligible baby talk

lapling
enjoying resting on a woman’s lap

lethonomia
tendency to forget names

liaroid
fatty

lilapsophobia
fear of tornadoes

lippen
trust, rely on

lissotrichous
straight hair

liversick
sick at heart

looby
clumsy person

lulliloo
a shout of joyous welcome

maffle
mumble, stutter

maricolous
living by the sea

marlish
easygoing

meacock
cowardly

melophobia
hatred of music

metromania
mania for writing poetry

midden
accumulated garbage

miniate
to paint red

miserotia
aversion to sex

momist
fault finder

morology
nonsense

mortling
wool from dead sheep

mulse
wine, boiled and mixed with honey

napoo
nothing, finished

neorama
panarama of interior building

nephogram
a photograph of clouds

nide
brood of pheasants

nosism
egotism, group conceit

nudiustertian
pertaining to the day before yesterday

nuncheon
between meals snack

obering
hint, inkling of something important

oblectation
delight

obmutescent
silent, refusing to talk

obvolve
to wrap up

occision
slaughter

octan
happens every eight days

oikology
home economy

oligoria
disinterest in hobbies, friends etc

omnist
one who believes in all religions

on the toot
at once, quickly

othergates
in another way

orology
science of mountains

ouphe
elf or goblin

ophrytis
inflamation of the eyebrow

opiniatrety
unreasonable attachment to one’s own notions

pandiculation
yawning and stretching

panshard
passion, rage

pantophobia
fear of everything

panjandrun
pompous official

pannychous
lasting all night

paradiddle
basic drum roll

paralian
one who lives by the sea

parechasis
rambling digression in rhetoric

pawky
cunning, shrewd, humorous

pecksniffian
hypocritical, gutless

peninsulated
almost surrounded by water

peroral
through the mouth

perissotomist
knife-happy surgeon

philtrum
vertical groove on upper lip

pililoo
hunting cry

pissing-while
a short time

ploiter
dawdle, work ineffectively

plottage
mix of plot and acreage, the area of a plot of land

plouk
pimple, small lump

polder
land reclaimed from the sea

popination
bar-hopping

popliteal
hollow at back of knee

poppism
sound of smacking lips

potvaliant
courageous when drunk

prullick
play, enjoy freedom, show off fine clothes

psilology
empty talk

pudibund
shameful, modest, bashful

pule
to whine

pupillarity
the years before puberty

pyriform
pear-shaped

quadrable
that may be squared

quackle
to suffocate

quagswag
shake oneself to and fro

quidnunc
gossip

quonking
sideline chat to disturb a performer

quop
to throb

refulgent
radiant, shining

religate
tie together

remonant
blooming more than once in a season

rhinarium
mammal’s cold wet nose

riprap
rocks protecting embankment

rosland
open land with low shrubs

ructation
belching

rumgumption
shrewd

saginate
to pamper

scaurous
with large ankles

scride
to crawl on all fours

scuddy
naked

seeksorrow
masochist

segging
the heavy, laborious walking of a corpulent man

semese
half-eaten

shenk
to pour a drink

shriver
a confessor

siriasis
sunstroke

sipid
full of flavour, tasty

sistle
whistle with a hissing sound

sloomy
slow, inactive

smeerkin
the sweetest of all kisses

snoach
speak through the nose

snuddle
make dirty, defile

snurge
to avoid an unpleasant job

spanghew
to throw with violence

sprottle
struggle helplessly

squdge
hug tightly

squonk
mythical weeping bird

stratocracy
military government

streek
stretch or expand, lay out a corpse

strigine
owlish

superlation
glorification

swoose
offspring of swan and goose

tetnit
child with elderly parents

tetricity
austerity

tharm
intestine

tossut
igloo tunnel

trillibub
trifle

twiddlepoop
effeminate man

uxorium
a bachelor tax

vapulate
to beat or strike

verbarian
inventor or coiner of words

vigesimation
killing every 20th person

vulpinate
to deceive craftily

whillywha
flattering deceiver

yabbock
talkative person

yaphy
hungrily [Scottish]

yaupish
hungry [Scottish]

zimb
Ethiopian fly

zobu
cross between zebra and yak

zounderkite
Someone whose stupid behaviour has led to a problematical mistake being made

We are indebted to Jeffrey Kacirk’s ‘Forgotten English’ for some of the words in this list, you can get the book at Amazon. We also need to give the late, great James Baxter a namecheck for all his painstaking research.

Psst… want to buy a photo? Try here.

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Rory Baxter, owner of The Word Factory, has decades of experience as a writer, editor, and public relations practitioner.

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