The Word Project – obscure words & bricolage

Posted: May 15, 2011 in creativity

I should check Kickstarter more often. In March Polly M. Law successfully  raised money to self-publish her book called “The Word Project: Odd & Obscure Words” (see partial list below). The endeavour began life as an email folder full of wonderful words that had come into her inbox via Anu Garg’s “A Word A Day” service. Polly had deleted about half of the words outright because she already knew them; then about half of the remainder because they just weren’t that interesting. But the words she did keep were delightful, quirky and expanded her world. And in 2002 she got the idea to illustrate the words with her whimsical paper-doll bricolage art. The Word Project was born. The book now is available on Amazon.

Sample page

For those with a love for words, a partial Word Project word list

Agelast: (n) a person who never laughs
Airgonaut:(n) one who journeys through the air
Albediniety:(n) whiteness
Amaranthine: (adj) of a deep purple-red color
Amaritude: (n) bitterness
Aporia: (n) an expression of doubt
Assoil: (v) to atone or to pardon
Bajulate:(v) to bear a heavy burden
Brumal: (adj) pertaining to winter
Burbles: (n)(obs) tingly pimples
Canitude: (n) hoariness, whiteness
Clancular: (adj) clandestine, secret
Colting: (v) romping in an unseemly manner- said of a woman
Corybantic: (adj) frenzied
Cosmogyral: (adj) whirling around the universe
Crotchet: (n) an odd notion or quirk; a quarter note
Cruciverbalist: (n) crossword-puzzle constructor
Cumsloosh: (n) flatterer- English regional
Cuncator: (n) procrastinator
Dasypygal: (adj) having hairy buttocks
Delitescent: (adj) hidden, latent
Deracinate: (v) uproot, remove from base
Dinomania: (n) irresistable urge to dance
Dragoman: (n) a guide or interpreter
Duende: (n) a dæmon, a spirit of inspiration- from Spanish
Entheate: (adj) possessed by a holy spirit or god
Empennage: (n) tailfeathers; the rear assemblage of an airplane
Empyreal: (adj) celestial, elevated
Eudemonia: (n) state of being happy
Fainéant: (n) an idler; (adj) idle
Fantod: (n) the willies, a state of nervous anxiety
Fardel: (n) a burden or bundle divided into two parts to facilitate carriage; also a small quantity of valueless items
Fastuous: (adj) arrogant, pretentious
Feretory: (n) portable shrine or reliquary
Festucine: (adj) straw-colored
Fetor: (n) stench
Fogram: (n) a person with very old-fashioned or conservative ideas
Frampold: (adj) vexatious, tenaciously argumentative, quarrelsome
Furphy: (n) gossip or rumor
Gawmless: (adj) having hands so cold that they’ve lost their function
Gormless: (adj) dull, stupid
Gridelin: (n) violet-grey
Gumifiate: (v) to cause to swell
Guttle: (v) eat voraciously
Habroneme: (adj) having the appearance of fine threads
Ianthine: (adj) of the color of violets
Iracund: (adj) prone to anger
Kexy: (adj) brittle, withered, dry
Koumpounophobia: (n) fear of buttons
Lissotrichus: (adj) having smooth, straight hair
Loricate: (adj) protected by scaly armor
Lucubrate: (v) to work by lamplight
Medioxumate: (n) mid-level god, existing between heaven & hell
Melanochalcographer: (n) engraver of copper printing plates
Mooncalf: (n) a dreamer or a person with a congenital deformity
Muliebrity: (n) femininity
Murfles: (n)(obs) freckles
Murklins: (adj) in the dark
Napiform: (adj) turnip-shaped
Niddering: (n) coward
Nidifice: (n) nest
Niggle: (n) a scribble or scrawl
Niminy-Piminy: (adj) affectedly delicate
Nitid: (adj) shiny, glossy
Nubivagant: (adj) moving amongst clouds
Numen: (n) spirit of place
Obrumpent: (adj) bursting
Orihon: (n) an accordian-fold book- from Japanese
Osculate: (v) to kiss
Oxter: (n) armpit
Pedology: (n) the study of soils
Pomarious: (adj) regarding orchards
Potichomania: (n) the craze for imitating Oriental porcelain
Pollex: (n) thumb
Pudency: (n) shame-based modesty
Rebarbative: (adj) repellent
Saltant: (adj) leaping, dancing
Senticous: (adj) thorny, prickly
Sinapistic: (adj) made of mustard
Slimikin: (adj) small and slender
Smaregdine: (adj) composed of, or of the color of emeralds
Strepitant: (adj) boisterous, loud
Strigiform: (adj) shaped like an owl
Struthiform: (adj) shaped like an ostrich
Swivet: (n) a state of anxiety; used in the phrase “to be in a swivet”
Thersitical: (adj) foul-mouthed
Throttlebottom: (n) a purposeless incompetent in political office
Unked: (adj) lonely
Ventripotent: (adj) having a large belly
Vinculum: (n) a join or bond
Wambles: (n) shaky walking due to nausea; nausea
Welmish: (adj) of a pale or sickly color
Wowser: (n) a killjoy, a puritan


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