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Big, Beautiful Words You Need To Start Using Immediately

08/14/2014 08:39 am ET | Updated Aug 14, 2014
Patrick Horvath

Have you noticed tired acronyms seeping into your speech, annoyingly usurping what was once a rightful place for poignant, playful language? TBH, we're tired of net-speak taking over the way we talk and tweet. It's time we take a hint from the many writers who are using Twitter for good rather than lol-riddled evil (we're looking at you, Teju Cole) and fill every 140-character limited sentiment to the brim with bizarre, lovely, uncommon words.

Sure, language is always changing, and sure, certain words become obsolete for good reason. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't celebrate English's weird and wonderful quirks, regardless of their relevance.

To ensure that big, uncommon words don't go the way of the wooly mammoth, we suggest that you scrounge up a few of your favorites (or, if you're feeling uninspired, borrow a few from the below list), and:

  • Incorporate them into your vocabulary.
  • Introduce them into digital culture; use them in your twitter bio, change your middle name on Facebook from 'Benghazi' to your favorite big word.
  • Get a face tattoo, ensuring the word can't truly die until you do.
  • Start texting them to your friends. If they judge you, pretend like it was an autocorrect fail.
  • Choose your favorite word from the list below and use it in personal introductions. "Hi, I'm Carina and my favorite word is slubberdegullion, what's yours?"
  • Share this post with your friends and family. Tell them you're concerned about their diminishing vocabulary, make it clear that you're not there to judge them, you're there to help them.
  • Better yet, shout out to us on twitter at #BigWordLove with your favorite beautiful, uncommon word.
  • Or, do what Patrick Horvath did below and illustrate some of your favorite words to show the world what a loony but lovable logomaniac you truly are.

MEANING: the rumbling and grumblings your stomach makes when things move inside your intestines -- usually a foreshadowing of things to come.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "God, Carol, I think you should cool it on the chili -- or at least that's what your borborygmus seems to be screaming at you! Amirite?"

MEANING: living off of fruits alone -- like a life-long juice cleanse... with pulp.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "I did really like the guy at first but then I find out he's carpophagous. I mean, I wouldn't even date a vegetarian."

MEANING: a frivolous and flighty person who is particularly loquacious -- you know exactly who we're talking about.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "Thank God that flibbertigibbet went back to Chicago. I love my brother-in-law but he would not. stop. talking."

MEANING: a fear of big words -- is this a real thing? if so, whoever named this phobia is kind of a d*ck.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "Now I don't want to upset you but your diagnosis might be harder to hear than it is to treat. You've got a bad case of hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia."

MEANING: a bamboozler, a hoodwink, a humbug -- kind of like all the Nigerian Princes who want to share their fortune with me via email. If only I had a Western Union account...

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "He told me he was a doctor -- turns out he has a doctorate in Medieval Literature. What a hornswoggle."

MEANING: an elaborate and morphing succession of dream-like illusions -- but who cares what it means? it's the MOST fun thing to say, saying this word aloud is like coating your vocal chords in your favorite childhood candy. I don't really know what that means but hopefully it'll make sense once you try it out.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "Saying the word phantasmagoria is, in itself, phantasmagorical."

MEANING: a dirty, slobbering oaf of a human being who is usually slovenly to boot -- you've probably met him on OkCupid.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION:"They say there are plenty of fish in the sea -- but it's more like there are plenty of slubberdegullions in the pig sty."

MEANING: whispering, humming, murmuring, rustling -- basically all the soothing -ings that you'd find on a sleep sounds machine from Sky Mall.


PRACTICAL APPLICATION: "I agree, I think the sussurus sounds might help you fall sleep -- Oh but honey, look! Did you see this inflatable island for the pool? It's even got cup holders!"

Also on HuffPost:

  • Meaning: Bull’s penis
  • Meaning: cuckold—a man whose wife was unfaithful was thought to grow horns; from Latin “cornu,” horn
  • Meaning: man who busies himself with women’s household tasks
  • Meaning: dupe, fool, object of scorn
  • Meaning: one with faith in stupidity
  • Meaning: large cask of malmsey, a strong sweet wine
  • Meaning: saucy, insolent boy
  • Meaning: the short, erect tail of a deer
  • Meaning: a scoundrel, villain
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