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10 Words Rarely Used

Updated on November 6, 2012

10 obscure words

I like looking up obscure words. The definitions are often surprising and many of them are fun to pronounce. You can always remember one of them to use in a sentence and amaze your co-workers or friends - but it only works if you can keep a straight face. The words were chosen at random - unless you believe nothing is by chance - in which case I'm not sure "who" chose them.

(JAB ul)


It sound like someone who talks to much doesn't it? Sorry.

Jabble is turbulence on the surface of water such as splashing, choppiness, or rippling. It is used figuratively to designate emotional turmoil or mental agitation. As a verb it means to splash or splatter a liquid.

When children take a bath they jabble all over the place.

(DES kwah mate)


If you know the word "squamous" you might figure this one out.

In Latin, desquamate meant to scale a fish. It now is used to indicate skin "peeling" like after a sunburn.

Many of us use SPF 15 to inhibit desquamation.

(LIK ur ish)


Its not candy. That would be too easy.

Lickerish describes a person very fond of food; someone who savors the experience of eating. The word expanded to include an individual with a desire for wine, women/men, and song, and has been used as a synonym for lecherous.

Its nice to cook for lickerish guests.

(bawr buh RIG muhs)


Reminds me of something that must be big or substantial. Yes! But not the way I was thinking about it.

Barborygmus is the rumbling of a person's bowels, or flatulence in the intestines.

I think we all know barborygmic people, or perhaps are one.

(puh REE mee us)


Could be a cousin of the amoeba, once or twice removed. Nope.

A paroemia is a proverb or and adage like "don't count you blessings before they chirp."

When used frequently, a paroemia can be very annoying.

(SKOH lee uhm)


At first glance I wasn't sure this word was suitable for a G rated lens. Boy, was I wrong.

A scholium (or scholion) is a notation in the margin of a page usually added by the author or illustrator.

The books I read are full of my own scholiums.

(uh TAK uh baw TOH nee)


Surely, I thought, this is some type of pasta dish. Well, it should be.

An attaccabottoni (literally to attach a button) is a bore; someone who goes on and on with a story making it difficult for the listener to leave.

I sat next to an attaccabottoni on a 6 hour flight. Asked the stewardess for a parachute.

(thee AN drik)


Its not someone who is a drama queen although I think it should be.

A theandric is at the same time divine and human. It has been used to express "divinely human."

My teacher believes that all creatures are theandric but I'm sure I have relatives that are exceptions.

(ves pur TIL ee oh)


You have to admit it sounds like "a lady of the night" or at least her lingerie. I had it half right.

A vespertillio is a creature of the night but not a woman. It is a bat.

Once a vespertillio landed on my shoulder and creeped me out.

(FROM tis tur ee)


I was sure I had it right - thinking it was some type of dentist specialty - and not one I'd ever want to use.

A phrontist is a deep thinker. The Greeks used phrontistery to indicate a place for thought and study. If you used the word now it would point to an institution of learning.

I applied to 5 medical phrontisteries to study tonsils.

The History of Words

Vocabulary Energizers: Stories of Word Origins
Vocabulary Energizers: Stories of Word Origins

This is definitely the best vocabulary book i've seen. Unlike other books which just give you bunch of words and their definitions, every word that's in this book is followed by a short, interesting story that shows the history of these words. It is clear that the author has put in a great amount of time and effort into writing this wonderful book. (amazon reviewer)


What's your favorite rarely used word?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago


    • knitstricken profile image

      knitstricken 5 years ago

      Solipsistic. :o)

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      This is actually the first time I've heard of these words. I learned a lot from your lens. I'll try to use them so I won't forget.

    • profile image

      games_rush 5 years ago

      I learned a lot from your lens..Thanks a lot!

    • profile image

      pixiepot 6 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Great job!

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Those were hard to figure out. I just got 50% for the test.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      Those were hard to figure out. I just got 50% for the test.

    • Mohprice profile image

      Mohprice 6 years ago

      I love weird words too! I'd have to say that "Tittynope" is my favorite.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 7 years ago

      Oh, I feel like I'm getting smarter already. Now, if I can just remember them tomorrow. =)