Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Illeist (noun): A person who refers to him or herself in the third person. This sort of person usually has an elevated sense of self-importance.

"Bob Dole is ready to lead the fight on the Senate floor."
                                                                       -- Bob Dole

Monday, November 19, 2012


Pilgarlic (noun): A bald head or a man with a bald head-- often used to deride someone.

No one knows for sure if this word came to be because a bald head resembles a peeled garlic bud, but it certainly fits the bill.  

"The managing director over in the editorial department is a real pilgarlic."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Bangstry (noun): Masterful violence. Well orchestrated and executed battle.

"The roller derby is the best example of skill and bangstry next to publication contract negotiations."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Rastaquouere (noun): A social climber. One who insinuates himself into high society by using affectations and manners purely for the purpose of gaining social prominence.

"Rastaquoueres will gain nothing by hanging around publishing events as publishing people are not particularly high society but rather loutish introverts with poor social graces."

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Tyrotoxism (tai-ro-tox-ism) noun: To be poisoned by cheese and related dairy products.

It's sounds almost comical, but people often forget that cheese is essentially dairy gone bad, and if not carefully produced, may contain impurities that could easily kill someone.

"No one could argue with the darkly humorous irony of the pizza magnate who died of tyrotoxism."

Friday, October 12, 2012


Lubitorium (noun) loo-bit-or-ee-um: Another name for a service station or gas station.

It does sound a little odd and perhaps mildly perverse at first, doesn't it?  

"I told her that before we go out on our date that I needed to stop by the lubitorium, at which point she insisted that I was being presumptuous and asked to be dropped off back at home."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Impecunious (adjective): Having no cash or money.

"Those with a fondness for remaining impecunious at all times should consider a career in publishing."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Estivate (verb): To pass the summer in a state of torpor, inaction, or inactivity.

Most people know the word hibernate -- which is the passing of winter in inactivity or sleep, but there are a number of animals (mainly reptiles and a few mammals) that do the same thing during the summer.

"Next summer I am going to do nothing but go to the lakeside and estivate."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Aspectabund (adjective): Having a very expressive face.

The word is rarely used any more and is thought to originate from the cojoining of two separate words: aspect: facial expression; and abundance: a plentiful amount.

"Those who are especially aspectabund would not do well in a game of Poker."

Friday, July 6, 2012


Dactylion (noun): The tip of the middle finger

"I wasn't sure if he was simply examining his dactylion or if he was making an insulting gesture at me."

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Eccedentesiast (noun): A person who fakes a smile.

"Don't mistake his eccedentesiastical mannerisms with any depth or honesty, he doesn't like any one."


Leggiadrous (adj.): Elegant and graceful.

This word is particularly interesting because it's a rather clunky and inelegant word that describes just the opposite. If you were referred to as leggiadrous and didn't know what it meant, you may think it an insult.

"I told her that she was a most leggiadrous woman and she slapped me!"

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Battologist (noun): One who needlessly and for no good reason repeats him or herself in writing or speech.

Yes, it sounds like some sort of an expert in the biology of winged mammals or someone with a deep understanding of military strategy, but it's not quite so flattering now that you know what it means.

"In writing, it is best to be succinct and not resort to lengthy and constant repetition in the style of some battologist."

Monday, June 18, 2012


Steatopygic: (stee-at-uh-pij-ik) noun. A large posterior or large buttocks.

Somehow Sir Mix-A-Lot's legendary rap song loses something when it's re-worded as "I like steatopygics and I cannot lie, you other brothers can't deny..."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Honeyfugle: verb: To dupe, deceive, or swindle.

"We trusted the author who told us that he was the former CEO of a Fortune 50 company but we were honeyfugled because he turned out to be an unemployed former cab driver."

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Karoshi: (kah-ro-shi) noun: A term without an English equivalent that is used in English-speaking circles just the same. Karoshi is a Japanese term that describes a death occurring from overwork. The idea is that certain physical ailments that bring about death in a person can be directly attributed to overwork.

"Most people in the publishing industry are in grave danger of karoshi."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Xenology: zee-no-lo-ji (noun): The study of extraterrestrial life.

Despite the word's similarity to Xenu, the name given to an extraterrestrial tyrant who wishes to enslave humanity according to L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology, the word comes from the Greek: xenos means a foreigner or outsider and λογος (logos) meaning reasoning or explanation.

"I receive a number of proposals for books from those with an interest in xenology, but unfortunately we do not publish in that arena."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Nelipot (nel-ee-pot) noun: A person who walks without shoes

During the Summer of Love, San Francisco's Golden Gate Park was full of hippies and other smelly nelipots.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Phlyarologist:(fly-ar-olo-jist) noun: Someone who speaks complete nonsense or gibberish.

"The wide range of topics you address with absolutely no authority in any of them has convinced me that you are truly an accomplished phlyarologist!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Nudiustertian(nu-di-uhs-ter-shi-uhn)adjective: Of or relating to the day before yesterday.

No, it has nothing to do with nudity, though you probably thought it did, didn't you?

"In publishing, deadlines are always discussed in nudiustertian terms to create the impression of urgency."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Gradgrind (noun):One who is only interested in cold, hard facts. The word comes from the Dickens novel "Hard Times" in which a character named Thomas Gradgrind operates entirely on the basis of facts and calculations.

"If you think that you'll find airy, poetic types in publishing houses, I regret to inform you that you will only find financial gradgrinds."

Friday, February 10, 2012


Crapulous (adjective) crap-u-lus: sick from excessive indulgence in liquor.

What makes this word so perfect is the inclusion of "crap-" but this word existed well before the slang word "crap" did.

"I've had two bottles of wine, a double-scotch, and a Bacardi Breezer -- all of which have blended in a very uncomfortable way in my stomach -- and now I'm feeling crapulous."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Luciferous (loo-si-fer-us) adjective: illuminating, literally and figuratively.

Admit it, you thought it meant Satanic or evil, didn't you? That's because Lucifer was the Devil's name before he was cast out from Heaven. Lucifer, from the Latin words lucerne and ferre, meant "light-bearer."

So if someone describes you as luciferous, it's really quite the compliment.