Words of the Day

I took a great history class my senior year in college, and the professor was knowledgeable about his field in a practical as well as theoretical sense.  He was also exceptionally erudite.  How erudite, you say?  So much so that my friend and I kept track of the surprising vocabulary that we encountered.  Here, unedited, is the list of notable words that our professor uttered over the course of the semester:

9/7:  nonplussed, amanuenses
9/12:  corporeal, apogee
9/14:  philogenetic (sp?)
9/19:  diasporic, correspondential
9/21:  spongiferous, hard scrabble, opprobrium, pathos, niche
9/26:  osmotic
9/28:  Kapow!, propitiate, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, pedagogy, capricious, bestial, merde
10/10:  vignette, spychologist, superstructure
10/12:  bifurcated, autoclave, florid, détente
10/17:  derangements, gazetted, estuary
10/19:  periodicity, risk averse, hog-dogging
10/24:  transliteration, orthodoxy (as in, “buzzsaw of British orthodoxy”)
10/26:  hooch, agentful
10/31:  epiphenomenal, concatenation
11/9:  putrefaction, horse pucky, effluvia
11/14:  cognoscenti
11/28:  diffident, connubial, excrescences (sp?)
12/5:  diktat, hoary, grubby, dossier(s)

Can you imagine how awesome this was for us?  It reminds me of the essay in Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris in which she collects a series of words from an old book that she doesn’t know and proceeds to test her friends and family on the words.  I recognized some of these words at the time, clearly wasn’t sure how to spell several of them, and generally marveled at the variety of diction, both high and low, that our professor possessed.

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2 responses to “Words of the Day

  1. Awesomely awesome that hog-dogging is a word.

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