Category: Word of the Week

Your Word of the Week: Griffonage

Griffonage is a word for something we’ve all seen, and most of us have also created a little from time to time.

griffonage (n.) – crude or illegible handwriting

Doesn’t really need much more comment, does it?

Usage: The judge reprimanded the court stenographer for her griffonage, but it was later revealed that her chair had inadvertently been electrified when the new security system was installed.

Meditate on this word all week long, and as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday from 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6.)

Your Word of the Week: Sniggle

The look of this word will give you guesses about what it means, but you’ll be wrong. It’s nothing to do with snorting while giggling, or any such portmanteau.

sniggle (v.) – to fish for eel by thrusting a baited hook into the eel’s den.

Nice, right? How long have you been doing that, and wishing you had a word for it? Far too long, we guess. And that’s why we’re here. We also hear you saying, “Eels live in dens?” You’re welcome.

This word was a big hit on the show. Besides being a fun word in its own right, you can connect it to grig, a word from a few weeks back, and it’s practically irresistible to talk about “sniggling a grig.” Chris took the concept public by telephoning bait shops on air and asking them if they could help him to “sniggle some grig.” None of the bait shops, you’ll be disappointed to learn, were very helpful.

Go forth and talk about sniggling grig this week, and as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday from 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6.)

Your Word of the Week: Morton’s Toe

For this week’s Word, we plunge into the medical archives and discover a terrible disease that would break any mother’s heart to discover in her child, much like the news that her child has joined a comet-worshipping cult, and with similar stigma. We think there should be a charitable foundation dedicated to improving awareness and treatment of this affliction, but of course we’d rather somebody else did it.

Morton’s toe (n.) – a hideous deformity in which the second toe is longer than the first toe, or hallux.

We use the words “hideous deformity” with tongue planted directly into our capacious cheek. The fact is, we at WLHQ are ourselves afflicted with this condition and we figure it’s about time we came out with it. The online literature tells of all sorts of grievous maladies affecting the feet, legs, and spine that can result from having Morton’s toe, and reading it makes us feel a bit like Dr. Seuss’s bear with one eyelash too few; but we have experienced none of them, so we think it is not as horrific as all that.

Naturally, researching this word has caused us to spend the entire morning browsing recordings of Dr. Seuss. We also heartily recommend Fox in Socks and Too Many Daves, both of which we know almost entirely by heart, and both of which we’d love to see attempted by a sign language interpreter.

Your Word of the Week: Sitzpinkler

Once again we return to the Germans for a word that English needs to adopt. This one pretty much looks exactly like its definition.

Sitzpinkler (n.) – a man who urinates sitting down.

If you read around the Internet, you’ll find sources that imply heavily that Germany strongly encourages this sort of behavior, though we have our doubts. The Germans wouldn’t stand for that.

Here’s an NFL fan who needs to be made aware of this word:

The German language is your friend.

See if you can find a chance to use this word in a sentence this week! We’re willing to bet that your life is crammed full of closet Sitzpinklers who are itching for a chance to stand up and be counted, and only you can help. And as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday at about 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6, but this coming Thursday will be closer to 5:45.)

Your Word of the Week: Eigengrau

This week’s Word of the Week comes from the Germans, who really do have a word for everything, a point that I intend to demonstrate further on this Thursday’s broadcast.

Eigengrau (n.) the dark shade of gray that people report seeing during perfect darkness.

The thing is, the mind and the senses are unable to lie entirely inert. Deprive your eyes of any stimulation at all, and your nervous system will come up with a “test pattern.” That test pattern is called Eigengrau.

Use this fantastic word in a sentence this week, once for each meaning! Tell us what happens. And as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday at about 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6.) Upcoming: What does Tom Brady have in common with the men of Germany? The German language will tell us!

Your Word of the Week: Grig

Because life is short, this week we bring you a word that has three meanings, all of them fun.

grig (n.) – 1. A lively, energetic person. 2. A hen with short legs. 3. A baby eel.

Usage: Old MacDonald had all three kinds of grig on his farm, but he wasn’t sure what all their sounds should be, so they never appeared in the song.

Use this fantastic word in a sentence this week, once for each meaning! Tell us what happens. And as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday at about 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6.)

Your Word of the Week: Mumpsimus

We at WLHQ love this word, and we suspect that almost everybody has one:

mumpsimus (n.) – a habitual action or idea that one adheres to, despite knowing it is incorrect. Or: One who adheres to such an action or idea.

It’s not necessarily a moral issue, and it’s certainly more fun when it isn’t. A popular example is George W. Bush, who will surely go to his grave saying “nucular” even though he knows that’s not a word. The Flaming Redhead has one, saying “anyways” even though she knows that’s not a word.

Continue reading “Your Word of the Week: Mumpsimus”

Your Word of the Week: Noyade

Here’s a word that’s thankfully rare in everyday speech:

noyade (n.) – a mass drowning

The noyade was a French innovation, if that’s the word, during their trademark Reign of Terror. It was one of the ways they kept their dangerous counter-revolutionaries in line, when the guillotine got overbooked. Obviously, this was before the invention of the “#firstworldproblems” hashtag. Today, the French have put away their guillotines and mainly do a lot of sneering.

Usage: Before the competition, the coach told the swim team to perform well and play fair, “and for god’s sake let’s not have another noyade out there.”

Use this fantastic word in a sentence this week! We look forward to hearing how it goes. And as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday from 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (I usually present the WOTW at about 6 pm.)

Your Word of the Week: Philosophuncter

Our travels and other commitments have made it difficult to blog consistently, and we figured that if we can’t bring a Word of the Week on a reliable weekly schedule, it was better not to do it at all. But now we’ve decided it’s time for World Lexicography Headquarters to bring back this important feature, so that all of our readers can be made better people.

And this is a word you need!

philosophuncter (n.) – one who pretends to know more than he actually does.

Because we presented this word during the holiday season, our sample usage drenches you in a bucketful of ice-cold Christmas cheer:

If someone tries to control your behavior by claiming to know if you’ve been bad or good, he might just be a philosophuncter.

A related word is philosophaster, which signifies a superficial or incompetent philosopher. Chances are you’ve run into a few of those as well. But that doesn’t bring in the notion of outright fraud the way philosophuncter does.

Use this fantastic word in a sentence this week! (If you can pronounce it.) We look forward to hearing how it goes. And as always, listen to xersradio.com each Thursday at about 5 to 7 pm, Central time, and be the first to know your next Word of the Week! (The WOTW usually appears at around 6.)

Note: broadcasts have been sporadic of late, because the studio is sensitive to the northern Indiana weather. If you tune in and don’t hear the familiar sound of Gint threatening to stab Chris in the eyeball with a #2 pencil, that probably means there has been weather.