Word of the Week Wednesday: lugubrious

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: lugubrious

Lugubrious means gloomy or mournful but especially is an over-the-top, affected or melodramatic way.

The word always reminds my of an episode of the Twilight Zone called, “A Piano in the House”.  I can’t recall if I heard the word first in the dialog or if the butler character just struck me as the epitome of lugubriousness.

Besides just being a funny-sounding word, I’ve always been, if not amused, then at least entertained by the overwrought sense of the maudlin.

While Droopy Dog never really did much for me, Eeyore has always been my favorite of Pooh Bear‘s friends and of course Morrissey factors heavily in my music collection.


Word of the Week Wednesday: ferly

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: ferly.

Ferly is an adjective meaning strange, unusual or unexpected.

It is also used as a noun meaning something evincing those qualities.

What I like about this word is that it’s a short, simple word with punch that I would never have guessed the meaning of.

This is definitely a word I’d like to use in conversation.  I’d have to make sure the context is enough to get the meaning.

Using a new word and having to define it right away strikes me as pretentious, as if I want people to think, “Wow, he’s got a great vocabulary”.  When, actually, it’s just a cool word that I’d like to encourage others to use.



Word of the Week Wednesday: conundrum

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: conundrum.

Roughly, a conundrum is anything that’s puzzling but I’ve most often heard it used to describe a tricky situation or decision; a dilemma.

It turns out that what it really means is a riddle, usually one the answer to which is a pun, or a play on words.

Example: What’s black and white and red all over?  A newspaper.

The word is also spelled quonundrum and is a made-up pseudo-Latin word.

Word of the Week Wednesday: superfluous

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: superfluous.

Superfluous means more than necessary or excessive, also unneeded.

From its etymology, it literally means overflowing.

Granted, the term is almost exclusively used negatively, I do like the concept of overflowing abundance.

I’m also quite fond of the u-o-u-s construction.  The concatenation of so many open vowels adds to the sense of flowing.

Word of the Week Wednesday: oubliette

This Wednesday’s Word of the Week is: oubliette.

An oubliette is a dungeon cell.  Specifically one with the only opening being in the ceiling.

It derives from the French word, oublier meaning “to forget”.

The gist is that it was someplace you deposited a prisoner and then forgot about them

I first remember hearing the word in the movie Labyrinth.

This was one of the great geek movies that came out in the 80s, significantly contributing to my burgeoning geekdom.

And, in fact, labyrinth itself is quite a wonderful word, definitely WOWW-worthy.

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