We already know that the English language is SO complicated. There are all these arbitrary grammar rules that have a million exceptions, words that can mean multiple (and sometimes contradicting) things and completely off-the-wall spellings. However, part of the beauty of language is discovering new, fun words and incorporating them into your life. Some of these words are just regular adjectives and synonyms, but even the most abstract, unique, and detailed thing can have its own word. Expand your vocabulary with these 21 words you didn't know existed and impress someone at a dinner party.
(You will not find the word "aglet" here, however — that word has already had its fame.)
1. Petrichor (n.) – the aroma from rain hitting dry ground
This term comes from the Greek "petros" meaning "stone" and ichor, which is the blood of the gods and goddesses in mythology. So suck that up your nostrils the next time there's a storm.
2. Griffonage (n.) – illegible handwriting
We all know someone who has griffonage.
3. Aphthongs (n.) – silent letters
The "p" in pseudonym, the "k" in knowledge, and "w" in write might be silent, but they're not forgotten.
4. Scroop (v.) – the swooshy sound made by silk fabric
You'll remember this the next time you twirl around in a ballgown.
5. Grawlix (n.) – typographical symbols that indicate profanity
What the @#%&? I didn't know this was a word!
6. Trouvaille (n.) – something lovely discovered by chance
My favorite trouvaille to date is the corn salsa at Chipotle. Yum.
7. Cockaigne (n.) – an imaginary land of luxury and idleness
Basically, everyone's dream, amirite?
8. Strikhedonia (n.) – the pleasure of being able to say “to hell with it”
A page short of the length for your essay? You'd rather Netflix binge than do your homework? Stikhedonia!
9. Eudaimonia (n.) – “human flourishing”; a contented state of being happy, healthy, and prosperous
This especially refers to flourishing across one's lifetime brought about by moral virtue, practical wisdom, and rationality. This is the new life goal tbh.
10. Eleutheromania (n.) – an intense and irresistible desire for freedom
It's my mood when I'm sitting in class and look out the window at the sunshine, birds, and happiness.
11. Estrenar (v.) – the experience of wearing something for the first time
Especially useful for that one pair of jeans that just looks amazing on you.
12. Kummerspeck (n.) – “grief bacon”; the extra pounds put on from overeating during stress
Basically, every college student during finals week.
13. Slampadato (n.) – when someone looks unnaturally tan or orange from excessive time in tanning salons
Besides our president, we all know someone who looks just a little *too* tan in the winter.
14. Komorebi (n.) – the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees
Use this on your next nature-related Instagram post and watch all the likes and comments of "I love that!" flood in.
15. Psithurism (n.) – the sound of leaves rustling in the wind
A sound that we'll be hearing quite a bit with autumn approaching.
16. Mangata (n.) – the glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on the water
Translating literally to "moonstreet," a stunning image only completed by a boat sitting in it, like in the movies.
17. Gattara (n.) – a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats
I just thought the term was "crazy cat lady," but I guess there's one that's more succinct.
18. Argle-bargle (n.) – copious but meaningless talk or writing
The essay you wrote hours before it was due is probably nothing but argle-bargle.
19. Chad (n.) – a piece of waste paper produced by punching a hole
The floor of every public school classroom is littered with these babies.
20. Degust (v.) – to taste food or drink carefully, so as to fully appreciate it
I try to degust my Olive Garden breadsticks, but it's so hard to resist the temptation to just inhale it.
21. Merrythought (n.) – a bird’s wishbone
Unless this word shows up on a vocabulary quiz or in a trivia game, I'm not sure why anyone would use this word.