25 rare and wonderful words…from The Horologicon

15 Jan

This post was inspired by an interview I heard on the Gareth Cliff show on 5FM. He interviewed Mark Forsyth about his new book ‘The Horologicon…A Day’s Jaunt Through The Lost Words of the English Language’.

The Horologicon...brilliant book

The Horologicon…brilliant book

The interview had me laughing and fascinated at the same time. Trust me…the words are unbelievable! I’ve highlighted my Top 25 words from this amazing book. Why not try them on for size…I might even start using them in everyday language…that would be interesting as I would never be able to remember them.

The really interesting thing about this book is that the words are organised according to the time of day that you would use them…what an awesome idea!

Why not try these on for size? If you’ve got some weird and wonderful words up your sleeve, I’d love to hear about them. All of these words and meaning are taken from his blog – go and have a look.

  1. Horologicon: means a book of hours.
  2. Uhtcearemeans anxiety experienced just before dawn.
  3. Aristologist: means you are a person who devotes your life to the study of breakfast.
  4. Hypnopompic: means half dreamful, half conscious delusions and illusions.
  5. Oneirocritical: of or pertaining to the interpretation of dreams.
  6. Expergefactor: means anything that wakes you up – your alarm clock, your children, the neighbour drilling at 6am (Just for the record I am not a fan of expergefactors!)
  7. Snollygosterone of my personal favourites this means a dishonest politician (well kind of…the technical definition is similar). The actual definition is a shrewd, unprincipled person.
  8. Aubademeans a song sung at dawn by your lover beneath your bedroom window.
  9. Reveillemeans the drum roll or bugle-blast meant to awaken a barracks of soldiers.
  10. Matutinalpeople who are breezy and bright in the morning.
  11. Zwoddera drowsy and stupid state of mind.
  12. Philogrobilizedthis should be used the morning after the night before and conveys a hangover, but you don’t admit to actually having been drinking (this might be my new favourite word).
  13. Xerostomiathe technical term for having dryness of mouth (obviously after philogrobilized!)
  14. Obdormitionthe term used for your arm falling asleep from lying on it.
  15. Lucifugousmeans light-fleeing creatures that avoid sunlight like vampires or badgers. It is normally referred to in the context of sins and demons…but feel free to use it when you really need those curtains to be closed in your zwodder state.
  16. Cunctationlike procrastination which is avoiding the inevitable.
  17. Grufelingto lie close, wrapped up, and in a comfortable looking manner; used in ridicule.
  18. Dysaniaextreme difficulty in waking up (this definitely describes me…)
  19. Clinomaniaan obsessive need to lie down.
  20. Oscitancyyawning or unusual sleepiness…(think about that mind numbingly boring conference).
  21. Pandiculationstretching of the arms or body when you’re is oscitancy.
  22. Egroteto pretend you’re sick in order to avoid work.
  23. Whindleonce your boss picks up the phone, start whindling. This is essentially when you are pretending to groan.
  24. Floccilatingmeans feverishly plucking at the bed clothes. You must of course tell your boss this.
  25. Jactatingmeans you are tossing around feverishly.

There are literally thousands of these words in his book – the only way to find them all is to purchase the book! I find it fascinating and it’s on my to buy list!

Give me your weird and wonderful words!

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6 Responses to “25 rare and wonderful words…from The Horologicon”

  1. karenselliott January 16, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    I so love this blog! I’m going to print it and study it and amaze my friends. I tweeted and FB’d it, too. I love learning new words, especially really weird words. What a great post!

    • karenselliott January 16, 2013 at 1:04 am #

      Now that I’m reading it again, I’m not sure I understand #1 – a book of hours? Can you explain?

      • capetowncopywriter January 16, 2013 at 6:27 am #

        Hi Karen, thanks for sharing! Very much appreciated! I’m like you I love these things. Right now I’m in a zwobber state! Basically a book of hours means that the words are presented by the time of day that they would be relevant to you, which is brilliant. So he starts at breakfast and ultimately lands up at sleeping! Very clever…

  2. karenselliott January 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    Thanks – I had a different thought on that one each time I read it.

  3. SO! What? SOcial January 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading this! Cheers~

    • capetowncopywriter January 30, 2013 at 6:34 am #

      Thanks so much for having a look. I had so much fun creating it…I could go on for hours! There will be more where that came from.

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