Books

Do you know what a quincunx is? Here are 15 of the most unusual words in the English dictionary

Posted by
Amy Lewis
Published

Here at stylist.co.uk, we like to consider ourselves wordsmiths. Delving into literature is our thing, words are our jam, complex sentence structure is where we get our daily wins. You know the type.

But even so, we were stumped when it came to a list of some of the most unusual words in the English dictionary.

Compiled by the folks at Raconteur, the list includes nouns, adjectives and verbs ranging from the reasonably well-known “flabbergast”, to more obscure words, including “quincunx”, “tintinnabulation” and, our personal favourite, “floccinaucinihilipilification”.

Certain you could get those three into a sentence? Test yourself with the full list below...

​Deliquescent

Adjective: Becoming liquid, or having a tendency to become liquid.

Flabbergast

Verb: Surprise someone greatly.

Flimflam

Noun: Nonsensical or insincere talk.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Noun: The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

Limerence

Noun: The state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person.

Loquacious

Adjective: Tending to talk a great deal; talkative.

Obdurate

Adjective: Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action.

Omnishambles

Noun: A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.

dictionary

Penumbra

Noun: The partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.

Persiflage

Noun: Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.

Perspicacious

Adjective: Having a ready insight into and understanding of things.

Quincunx

Noun: An arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its centre, used for the five on a dice or playing card.

Tintinnabulation

Noun: A ringing or tinkling sound.

Triskaidekaphobia

Noun: Extreme superstition regarding the number thirteen.

Velleity

Noun: A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action.

Images: istock

 

Topics

Share this article

Author

Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

Other people read

More from Books

More from Amy Lewis