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Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words

Attention Regular Readers!!!

My "little" dictionary now has a new home! Please check out:

The Vocabuverse


In my effort to take writing seriously I've realized that my vocabulary needs some renovating - extending to be exact. If the linguistic center of my brain could be described as a floor plan it would probably resemble something like a two bedroom unit with a living room full of children's toys and an over-sized coffee table, which strangely enough resembles the very house I live in. What I really need is to push out a bit with some bigger and more complicated words to make my tongue more mansionesque, to impress the onlisteners with words I didn't just make up.

But let's face it, the dictionary is a boring read, which is just as well, because in this series I don't intend to read the dictionary so much as re-write it! Poetically.

Join me here every week as this blog expands to become the one and hopefully only Cleverly Devised Poetical Dictionary of Difficult Words by me...

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Let us start with the letter A shall we?



A



Abacus


If you are investigating
how to do your calculating
without using your fingers or your toes,
then the Abacus will do
the arithmetic for you
by organizing beads on rods in rows.

The word originated as
has been so speculated
from "abax", spoken by the Ancient Greeks.
A table for the purpose
to do math on its surface,
used exclusively by ancient geeks.

Check out the song below!

Abalone

This is the testimony
of the noble abalone
a shell fish from the bottom of the sea.

Its mother of pearl interior
beats its rough exterior
and makes for some exquisite jewellery.

Check out the song below!



Abate

When things seem much to fast for you
or there's just too much to do
and you find you need a little break,

To lessen in intensity
its clear your best defense will be
to slow down or in other words abate!

Check out the song below!


Abattoir

If indeed you are like me
And like to eat dead things for tea
but not to dwell on where the meat comes from

You're best then to stay where you are
and not visit an abattoir,
the slaughterhouse where beasts don't live for long!

Check out the song below!



Abdicate

If the burden of the throne
seems too big for you alone
or you dislike responsibility,

To abdicates the thing to do,
give up the power bestowed on you
and relinquish your authority.

Check out the song below!

Abduct

There are two ways one can abduct
a chicken or maybe a duck
depending on the goal you have in mind
You could kidnap it from its home
or remove the meat from off its bones
to serve it with ginger and lemon rind.


Aberrant

Something that is unusual
and not exactly typical
in which its deviations are apparent.

Something that is strange
or maybe a bit deranged
can be described as something that’s Aberrant


Abeyance

If you ever find that I’m
out of action for some time
please accept this short but true conveyance

my suspension will be brief
my inactivity succinct
because you see I’m only in abeyance.

Abhorrent

I did a most repulsive act
to say Abhorrent would be apt
but loudly I broke wind before the Queen

The odor gross and hideous
Abhorrently insidious
made her inquire if I had eaten beans!


Abject

If something is miserably grindingly wretched,
pitiful, shocking and mostly dejected,
shameless, brazen or despicable

or Humble, respectful, rightly differential
modestly civil, meekly reverential
the word Abject is still applicable


Abjure

Once I was an obese man
weighing lots of kilograms
until one day from junk food I renounced.

Formally I did abjure
from foods that used to make me purr
and now truly I only weigh an ounce.



Ablution

There is in some religions a
Traditional condition that
An individual practice good hygiene

So the ultimate solution
Is the action of ablution
The washing of the body till it's clean.

Abnegation

A scenario that makes me quake
Is when there's one last piece of cake
That occupies another's aspiration

I'm much too nice to claim the slice
And will commit self-sacrifice
And offer it to them in Abnegation


Abolish

If within society
Are certain things that shouldn't be
Perhaps the social order needs a polish

It's possible to pass a law
Against the things that aren't adored
And ending them by having them abolished.


Abominable

Let us now deeply discuss
A thing that causes much disgust
The likes of which induces much repulsion

Abominable is he who eats
His boogers as if they were treats
And the thought of kissing him gives one convulsions!

I should lend another verse
Before things go from bad to worse
And bring to end this dirty contemplation

To say that any sordid act
Exemplifies the dire fact
That foul misdeeds are an abomination!


Aboriginal

It often pays to understand
The native of a mass of land
Is in fact the aboriginal

Inherently indigenous
It's far from being ambiguous
They are not foreign but original!


Abrade/Abrasion/Abrasive

If you dare to listen here
I can swear you can impair
a smooth surface by rubbing it away

For example take some wood
and with sand paper rub it good
and thus you've demonstrated an Abrade

Which is a word one can upgrade
a trade that can be simply made
should you find the need on an occasion

For if you accidentally
should fall and graze your skin you see
the thing you suffer from is an abrasion!

But wait! There is another thing
to this discussion I can bring
just to make the matter more exhaustive

The thing that does the abrading
the wearing, rubbing or scraping
that of course is known as an abrasive!

And last of all, just as you thought
about this word that all was taught
it can be used a way that's more abstract

I can assert that words that hurt
language cruel and harsh and curt
are in point of fact abrasive acts!


Abscess


A pus filled blister, boil or bump
Pimply bulbous, filled with gunk
Is the bubbly lumpy taut abscess

I hate to say it but it's true
Squeezing them is fun to do
Just keep a tissue handy for the mess!

The word derives in history
From the word abscedere
Which is Latin for "to go away"

Used by doctors who believed
Squeezing sores could cure disease
Such was the pseudo science of the day...


Abscond

You've just committed burglary
A most successful robbery
The best thing for you now is to abscond

Flee the scene and run away
Or else the cops will make you pay
A punishment that's worthy of your wrong!


Abseil

If you're standing on the edge
Of a steep cliff's scary ledge
And you need a quick way to get down

As long as you have rope to grasp
Tied around you for the task
You can abseil quickly to the ground...


Absolutism

Totalitarian
Authoritarian
Describes absolutism true

A dictator's tyranny
A despotic monarchy
A form of government that's absolute!


Absolve

When your crimes are purged away
Your name set free of blame
When the shame of sin has been dissolved

When offenses you've committed
Are pardoned or remitted
Celebrate the state of being absolved!


Abstemious

Such a one who demonstrates
discipline and great restraint
especially with food and alcohol

A person so impervious
is one who is abstemious
over whom no vice will have control!




Abstinence

If for a certain while
you practice self denial
perhaps for health or acting out a penance

When saying no to drink or food
or anything you love to do
the thing you’re doing is called abstinence.



Abstract

Disassociated from
any specific case
is the hard to grasp abstract concept

Expressing then a quality
or perhaps peculiarity
that is apart from the discussed object

Or put in simple words
art that is absurd
and makes you wonder, “What the heck was that?”

Void of beings and things
what the painting really means
can only be discussed in terms abstract!


Abstracted

At certain times you might well find
I'm in a certain state of mind
seeming kind of vacant or distracted

The mood I'm in then is the sort
when so engrossed I'm list in thought
I guess you could well say I am abstracted!


Abstruse

Something too cerebral
For a mind simple and feeble
Something that's too tricky to deduce

A concept that's been rated
Massively complicated
Is said to be a thing that is abstruse


Abut

When two things are neighboring
So close they are adjoining
When two things that one another touch

The situation in that case
When two things are so closely placed
You are describing two things that abut!


Abysmal

If something is deeply and profoundly bad
appalling and awful more than just a tad
the adjective to use is abysmal

As in "the most abysmal dish
is custard fried with rotten fish"
it adequately denotes things dreadful

Of course it is quite hard to miss
the word is kindred to "abyss"
a hole that's truly dark, deep and dismal

Aid/Aide

If someone lends you a hand
it would pay to understand
that such an individual is your aide

But the action in itself
When someone gives you help
the thing that they are offering is aid

It’s important that you see
that the little letter ‘e’
actually can make quite a difference

Although it can’t be heard
adding the letter to the word
separates assistant from assistance


Alcheringa

According to the natives of
Dusty Australia
There was a legendary Age
That they called Alcheringa
That is to say the "dreamtime" when
Everything began
The arrival of the animals
And eventually man...


Ambassage (Old English)

The enemy is coming
And the drums of war are drumming
As they approach intent on war to wage

We must send a delegation
And pray that the situation
Can be averted by the ambassage

A certain type of embassy
Armed only with diplomacy
Intent on calming our opponents' rage







B

Babushka

The word babushka sounds absurd
its clearly not an English word
That's because it hails from Russia

It is a peasant girl's fashion
The headscarf tied beneath the chin
or a woman with the air of a grandmother!


Bora

If you happen to be a
native of Australia
by that I mean an aborigine

Chances are you understand
that a boy becomes a man
as part of the bora ceremony





C


Cabal/Cabala

A plot or group of plotters who
In secret seek to rule
Bent on influence that can't be quelled

A faction set to dominate,
Who in secret manipulate
Is a covert group called a cabal...

Another word Cabala
Is the mother of the other
And is itself concerned with secrecy

Being an obscure view
Of the Scriptures in Hebrew
And revealing mystical philosophy


Concision

You'll find this rhyme is short and sweet
to the point, compact and brief
purposefully written with precision

Written thus to demonstrate
a model so to resonate
the definition of the word Concision




D


Dacoit

When traversing Burma's hills
You do so at your peril
One may become a target to exploit

To a breed of bandits who
Are armed so they can steal from you
Known by the fancy word Dacoit




E


Eagre

Near where the mighty river meets
The open hungry sea
Your eye might catch an eagre as it flows

A large wave driven by
The breathing currents of the tide
Against the flow upstream the eagre goes...

Now just to be pedantic
so you don't misunderstand it
It's not pronounced a thing like eager either

To say it properly
Then just forget it starts with "e"
And remember the word eagre rhymes with tiger!


Ensample

Not so much in use today
but still read in the old King James
is the middle English word "ensample"

Don't be puzzled by the "n"
replace it with an "x" and then
you'll have a word that means the same - "example".





F


Fabergé

Way back in the olden days
Lived one Peter C. Fabergé
A goldsmith who made ornamental things

Especially he specialized
In golden eggs with gifts inside
To satisfy the likes of queens and kings.





G



Gaberdine

A worsted fabric overcoat
Not unlike a wizard's cloak
Was the medieval gaberdine

You'd find it hard to buy in store
A robe the same as Gandalf wore
It's something out of fashion now it seems...




H



Habeas corpus

Allow me now please to explain
That if a prisoner is detained
It must be ascertained before the court

Whether his detentions fair
And whether he should remain there
And so before a judge the suspects brought

So Liberty is not abused
We call the writ then that is used
Habeas corpus terming the concept

The process that ensures
A persons rights are not ignored
And that one can not be unfairly kept!




I


Iatrogenic

I went to see a doctor where
I put my health into his care
But boy did I get more than bargained for!

Thanks to the "experts" negligence
I caught from him a pestilence
And left the clinic worse off than before.

Thanks to iatrogenesis,
The doctor's dodgy practices,
I can say I am in way more pain

Not only from his fees
But because now I am diseased
And my dull-brained doctor is to blame!


Indefinite article

"A" or "an" are words we use
when we wish to introduce
something before making known the noun

Although a tiny particle
the indefinite article
can in many languages be found

It/Its/It’s

It’s worth elucidating
when referring to a thing
we give that thing the designation ‘it

But add the letter ‘s’
and the meaning will address
the things relating specifically to it

Like, “that dog loves its bone”,
or “that cat has lost its home”
hopefully by now you get the drift?

Just don’t make the catastrophe
by adding an apostrophe
or else the grammar police will get miffed!

So the word is not abused
an apostrophe is used
with regards to “it has” or “it is

Like “That dog, it’s got a bone
it’s the cat that had no home!”
Then the grammar goblins won’t get in a tizz!




J


Jabberwocky

A Jabberwocky is a thing
That's not a thing at all
A piece of writing that's nonsensical

Like if a dizzy donkey ding
Barked a warbling apron string
That would be incomprehensible!

This limerick though sweet
Would indeed be incomplete
If I didn't take the time to pass

The information that the name
Jabberwocky found it's fame
In a book called Through the Looking Glass...


Jabōt

Although it seems unlikely that
This verse will come in handy
I suppose one day it just might pay to know

That mostly on a woman's clothes
The pleated frilly thing that goes
Down the front is known as a Jabōt




K



Kabuki

The country famous for it's sushi
Also gave us the kabuki
An art specific to the Japanese

Costumed in complex detail
The female parts performed by males
Singing, dancing, acting to appease.



Laager

Here's a handy thing to know
If in a caravan you go
And suddenly a battle must be fought

Arrange your transport in a square
And I purport you fight from there
Inside your laager or your wagon-fort!





M



Macabre


Death is not so nice a thing
its aspects can be frightening
especially when amplified in scale

Macabre then is the horrible
grizzly and deplorable
relating of one’s death in grim detail

Danse macabre, said the old French
that is the Dance of Death
Probably a reference in those days

To the ancient Maccabees
who were slaughtered so horribly
depicted in a medieval play…





N



Naafi

Naafi is an acronym
of British origin
Navy, Army, Airforce Institute

Providing shops and things
pubs, clubs and canteens
for soldiers on base in need of new loot



O

Oakum

Oakum is an implement
made of jute or hemp
used for sealing pipes and things that float

It will keep a pipe from leaking
or a wooden ship from sinking
handy to know when plumbing on a boat!





P

Pabulum
Food that is easy to chew
and simple to Digest
can be designated pabulum

But another denotation
is insipid information
mental fodder bland and trite and dumb!





Q

Qua


If you want a word that means
the same as the word "as"
but in the context of "virtue of being"

Then substitute with "qua"
to sound much smarter than you are
as in "cats qua cats have difficulty skiing.







R

Rabbet

Sometimes you just might find
a piece of wood that is designed
to fit together with another bit

A type of groove that has the point
of fitting with a matching joint
such a groovy thing is a rabbet!



S


Sabbatarian

A person whose conscience reserves
Saturday to be obsesrved
As the sabbath day of holy rest

Is the Sabbatarian
For whom all work and play is sin
When done upon the day the good Lord blessed!


Shew

If you ever take a look
inside an older English book
here's a tip that is handy to know

If you come across a "shew"
a word that our ancestors used
remember that it means the same as "show"




T


Tabard

In the medieval days
the knights back then liked to display
their coat of arms when they were fully armoured

So they had a tunic stitched
to fit over their armour which
was known across the land as a tabard



U

Übermensch

A super duper human being
formidable and staggering
superior is what I'm trying to say

Impervious to bumps and dents
is the splendid übermensch
a superman in every kind of way

The concept is a feature
in the thought of Frederick Nietzsche
in the latter nineteenth century

Suggesting through philosophy
that the übermensch should be
a goal to set for all humanity




V

Vaccinia

Way back in the olden days
it happened that some dairy maids
touched the ailed udders of a cow

And none of them were very pleased
to catch from it a skin disease
which gave them blisters and a furrowed brow

Cowpox was the malady
that put the maidens I'll at ease
a virus passed on from the cow to them

Related to vaccinia
but not so much to tinea
A shame there were no latex gloves back then



W

Wacker

Apparently if you are one
born a Liverpudlian
then you're a Wacker so I've heard it said

But if you would prefer another
Scouser is a name that's uttered
named after a stew that there is fed



Who/Whose/Who's

When of a person you must show
which or what one is then know
the interrogative used for such is “who

As in “who stole my pajamas?”
Or “who here likes piranhas?”
Are some examples just to name a few.

But something you must learn
the word “who” can be turned
into a word relating things to it

That certain word is “whose
and here is a small clue
to help you to ensure you don’t abuse it:

“A person whose pajamas
were eaten by piranhas”
Is a phrase in which it seems to fit.

But now here’s the trick
so that no one thinks you thick
and to give your grammar razzmatazz

Remove from “whose” the little “e”
to it add an apostrophe
and “who’s” will now mean “who is” or “who has

“That man who’s in pajamas,
who’s screaming loudly, ‘Argh! Piranhas!’”
Exemplifies the essence of these truths

So when writing keep in mind
that your audience don’t find
improper use of who and who’s and whose!







Xanthippe

A woman who is quite bossy
domineering and haughty
is the overbearing Xanthippe

Argumentative at best
the name apparently possessed
by the younger wife of Socrates

Y

Yagi

I'm yelling you the truth
that the antenna on your roof
necessary if you watch TV

Is a Japanese invention
that enables good reception
named after the engineer Yagi


Z

Zabaglione

If you like to flirt
with the idea of dessert
may I suggest you try a Zabaglione?

Whipped egg yolk and sugar which
with Marsala wine is mixed
I'm sure you'll find it satisfactory!



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