Word Porn

A logophile is a lover of words. Also called a word lover or philologos. A related term is logomaniac, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a person who is obsessively interested in words.

The Internet

Epeolatry- the worship of words

Try and play Scrabble with my Mum and you’ll realise how comparably limited your vocabulary is. She’ll pull out words that I never even knew existed, scoring in the thirties and beyond whilst I ‘scrabble’ about (sorry) for points desperately. She is an absolute pro at discarding those last pesky consonants as the tiles dwindle; I’m looking at you, X and Q. I have only ever beaten my Mum twice at Scrabble in my life.

How does she learn all these words? Where do they come from? She plucks them out of the depths of her mind with such ease. She’s an avid Words with Friends player (I know what you’re thinking, isn’t that so 2013?) and she does the daily crossword without fail. She reads a lot, my Mum, and we often swap and share books as our tastes are very similar. She’s just one of those people who retains words in her head, and I’m totally envious. I am always discovering words that I love and want to remember, and within a few days they’ve been replaced by some other nugget of information I want to hold on to. It’s a vicious cycle. So about six months ago I bought myself a little pocket friendly notebook to jot down words and quotes that I come across and always have nearby to dip into when I want to brush up on my vocabulary.

“Words belong to each other”

Virginia Woolfe

Here are a few beautiful words and their meanings that I’ve come across which I will struggle to use in day to day conversation without appearing resplendent, but which still caught my attention and have gone into my little book of words.

Apodyopsis– the act of mentally undressing someone
Brontide– the low rumble of distant thunder
Contumacious– stubbornly disobedient
Hiraeth– a homesickness for a home you can’t return to, or that never was
Petrichor– the smell of earth after rain
Psithurism– the sound of the wind through the trees
Solivagant– a solitary wanderer
Vellichor– the strange wistfulness of secondhand bookshops
Xanthippe– ill tempered woman

Did you know that with every edition of the dictionary, words are removed? When I found this out I felt quite sad- how can words become extinct? As language and linguistics evolve then I suppose things will get left behind. If you, too, are a logophile then check out this website I discovered; hours of fun: http://www.getaninterestingword.com/

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