Dictionary Challenge Weeks 40-42: A Sedulous Challenge

It’s time to get intellectual.

Okay, well, maybe only a little bit. There are a ton of entries that are basically just synonyms of words that are much more common. Sometimes I like these entries because they have a nice flow to them, but most of the time I’m much more realistic in how I consider them. No one (that is… regular, non-pompous, literarily disinclined folks) will know what I’m saying when I spout off about how the dictionary is sesquipedalian.

I could have just said the dictionary has big words in it.

Big words

So while I’m being acquainted with a great many words that are, well, sesquipedalian – the practicality of actually using them is fairly moot. I’m a writer by trade, but not in the grand literary sense of novelists and poets, so any instances where some of these words could be used would actually be a hindrance, acting more as a barrier to communication than an asset. Using complex language excludes a lot more people than it includes.

However, even though I know, for convenience sake, I won’t use a lot of these words… I still appreciate them. Here’s a list of some of my favourite “big words” from the last three weeks:

Rodomontade – Boastful or bragging talk or behaviour

Sagacious – 1. Mentally penetrating; gifted with discernment; having practical wisdom 2. Acute-minded; shrewd

Salubrious – 1. Conducive or favourable to good health; healthy 2. Pleasant; agreeable

Scabrous –  1. having a rough surface; bearing short stiff hairs, scales, etc 2. Requiring tactful treatment; hard to handle with decency 3a. indecent, salacious; scandalous 3b. behaving licentiously

Saturnine – 1. Sluggishly gloomy temperament 2. (of looks) dark and brooding

Saprophagous – feeding on decaying matter

Scrofula – 2. Morally corrupt

Rugose – wrinkled, corrugated

Senesce – grow old

Sententious – 1. (of a person) fond of pompous moralizing

Sedulous – 1. Persevering, diligent, assiduous 2. (of an action, etc) deliberately and consciously continued; painstaking

That last one I feel like applies to me. Deliberately and consciously continuing the painstaking process of reading the dictionary. But let’s move along to some words I’d like to expand on a bit. First up, is one of my favourites… rusticate meaning, in the first sense “retire or live in the country.” This is really only because I am a country girl who now lives in the city and I have this part of me that still yearns for the country. Rusticate has enough of that romantic sound to it that it really aligns with how I feel about the country; it elicits an elegiac response in me.

Another top contender is shemozzle and this is simply because it’s fun to say and pairs well with its definition, like a cheap glass of white wine with chicken nuggets…. that definition being “a brawl or commotion” in the first sense, and “a muddle” in the second sense. Come on. Say it out loud. Shemozzle.

Now wasn’t that fun?

Next up is a word I included because I like how the people who write the definitions wrote part of the entry for selfish. In the first sense, it’s defined as “deficient in consideration for others, concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure; actuated by self-interest.” It’s the first part that I like so much. Deficient in consideration for others. Maybe it’s because I like how it implies that a selfish person isn’t just self-involved, but that they are actively deficient in some way – that they are lacking. It’s my own idiosyncratic way of looking at it, I suppose.

I also liked the word Saskabush as “a nickname for Saskatoon” because I had never heard that nickname before, but it made me laugh because it’s pretty fitting. The word schmaltz is another I liked because the two senses of the word are so completely different, yet I could still see how they might relate. The first sense is “sentimentality, esp in music, drama, etc” and the second sense is “melted chicken fat.”

Different. Yet similar.

I also have to make note that shit-eating made its way into the dictionary, defined as “smug, self-satisfied.” Which is something, I think, that most people know. But, like many other words I’ve come across in The Behemoth, it made me stop and think about it. I don’t think someone would necessarily feel all that smug if they were eating feces. Right?

Yeah. Words certainly are interesting… when you think about them. Kind of like how the archaic definition of self-abuse is “masturbation.” I have just one thing to say about this… you’re doing it wrong.

Weeks 40-42 Stats

Starting Word: Roblin, Dufferin                         Ending Word: side

Total Pages: 1442/1815                                      Ahead/Behind: -33

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