New Words from Wordsmith

I’m subscribed to the Wordsmith Word-a-day mailing list. I like a bunch of them, but rarely use them. I’m keeping ones I like here as a reference for myself.

This past weeks words were all religious. I liked one particular:

eremite (AIR-uh-myt) noun

A recluse, especially for religious reasons.

[From Latin eremita, from Greek eremia (desert), from eremos (solitary).]

I hadn’t known that the word “hermit” was based off of a different word.

Before that, the subject was fear and desire. I often I have this desire.

onomatomania (on-uh-mat-uh-MAY-nee-uh) noun

An obsession with particular words or names and desire to recall or repeat

[Via Latin, from Greek onoma (name) + -mania (excessive enthusiasm or craze).]

I like this from reading Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation. I don’t know if I understood a word of it, but it left an impression.

simulacrum (sim-yuh-LAY-krum) noun

1. An image or representation.

2. A vague resemblance to something.

[From Latin simulare (to simulate), from similis (like). Ultimately from
the Indo-European root sem- (one) that is also the source of simultaneous,
assemble, simple, Sanskrit sandhi (union), Russian samovar (a metal urn,
literally, self-boiler), and Greek hamadryad (a wood nymph, who lives in
a tree and dies when it dies).]

Something I fear being.

nihilarian (nih-i-LAR-ee-uhn) noun

One who does useless work.

[From Latin nihil (nothing).]

“You may find yourself worrying that you’re turning into a nihilarian.”
Sian Prior; Ineffable; The Age (Melbourne, Australia); Dec 16, 2002.

A word using roots of a word I’m familiar with

cacography (kuh-KOG-ruh-fee) noun

1. Bad handwriting.

2. Incorrect spelling.

[From caco- (bad), from Greek kakos (bad) + -graphy (writing). Caco is
ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate) which
also gave us poppycock, cacophony, and cucking stool . Opposites of today’s word are
calligraphy (beautiful handwriting) and orthography (correct spelling).
A related word is cacology ]


dibs (dibz) noun

The right or claim on something.

[From shortening of dibstones, a children’s game played with pebbles.]

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