Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ten Words Guaranteed to Make You Sound Smart


Do you or your husband need a few $60,000 words to impress the boss? Perhaps you want your homeschooled children to impress the naysayers, or you need a new vocabulary list for your teenager. You could even drop a couple of these bad boys at the ladies luncheon, and they’ll ask you to lead the next Bible study.

Okay, no promises with any of that, but these are some pretty big words. All definitions come from Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, my big red college dictionary in which I underlined all the words I looked up to see how long it would take me to read the entire dictionary. So, not there yet . . . but there’s still time. And, I know I’m dating myself, but this dictionary doesn’t recognize ain’t as a word. (Ah, it’s the little things in life that bring joy. J)

So, without further proselytizing, here are ten words to make you sound really smart.

  1. Salubrious. Favorable to or promoting health or well-being. Sentence: This salubrious app tracks my blood sugar and calorie intake.
  2. Discombobulated. Upset and confused. Sentence: I awoke discombobulated to find my head at the foot of the bed.
  3. Propitiation. Something that gains or regains the favor or good will of. Sentence: “. . . For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. . . .” (Romans 3:23-25) Um, yeah. Can you come lead my Bible study?
  4. Plethora. Most people think the definition is simply excess. But the first definition listed is “a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion.” Don’t you love definitions that require you to look up more words? (Actually, I do. That means I get to underline more words in my dictionary!) That’s a bit yucky, so let’s go with the easy definition for our sentence: Homeschooling families typically have a plethora of books.
  5. Curmudgeon. A crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man. Sentence: The paper carrier had learned the hard way to take the long route around the curmudgeon’s house.
  6. Ubiquitous. Existing or being everywhere at the same time. Sentence: Why don’t you ever hear pastor’s preach about our God being ubiquitous?
  7. Parsimonious. Exhibiting carefulness or thriftiness with money or resources to the point of stinginess. Sentence: God calls us to be good stewards of what He gives, but never to the point of being parsimonious.
  8. Incendiary. A person who deliberately sets fire to a building or other property. Sentence: My brother’s early love of fire and fireworks made me concerned that he would become an incendiary.
  9. Paraplegic. Paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both legs. Sentence: As I grew up with a paraplegic father, I became accustomed to people staring at our family.
  10. Gerund. A verbal noun in Latin that expresses generalized or uncompleted action. I was an English major, and I still don’t understand gerunds. If you come up with a sentence, let me know.









You all are already smart! What words could you add to this list?





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14 comments:

  1. I use about half of these words on a regular basis. I did not know they made me sound smart.

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    1. Wow! Good for you! You have an impressive vocabulary. Thanks for commenting!

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  2. I have ALWAYS loved the word plethora! I shall need to add more of these to my list, perchance I shall become discombobulated and forget them!! hee hee LOVED it!

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    1. Another great word - perchance! There are just too many for a list of only ten. So glad you commented today!

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  3. I didn't realize the actual meaning of several of these words. It's like the word Prodigal. It has a totally different meaning than the way we use it. Bless you, Gail (BibleLoveNotes.com)

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    1. Plethora was a totally gross surprise for me when I actually looked it up. I wonder how many words we are misusing? Perhaps that's another post. . . . Thanks for stopping by, Gail.

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  4. Found you on the Tues Top Ten link up! I love your list..... I use quite a few of them already.... I also love ruminate... and bellwhether! LOL

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    1. I didn't know bellwhether -- "An indicator or predictor of something." Had to look that one up. Thanks for adding to the list!

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  5. ahahahah!! Nice idea!!! Thanks for making me instantly smart! :)
    Visiting you from the top ten tuesday bloghop!

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    1. Oh, I'm sure you were smart already! Thanks for hopping over!

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  6. I have a plethora of multisyllabe words in my cranium. I often even use "whom" instead of "who" or not even end my sentences with prepositions-- especially in formal settings, or I want to "get rid" of the person with whom I'm conversing. (It worked great when I donated plasma to earn "play money" while my husband was in seminary and I just wanted to spend the time reading and listening to my CD player.)

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    1. We are kindred spirits, Laura! One of my biggest frustrations, at least in reading, is sentences that end with a preposition. I would prefer to go to great lengths to prevent that, but then my writing sounds forced and stilted. That's appropriate at times, not so appropriate at others. So, I'm forcing myself to relax. I don't want to put readers off, especially when blogging is rather casual. Thanks so much for your comment!

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  7. I feel half way smart, I use some of these words. Here is my attempt on gerunds: Swimming is fun. Swimming is a noun in that sentence: the subject. I do believe most gerunds end in "ing". Could be totally wrong. I actually taught that unit while student teaching 8th grade--I should know this!! haha!

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    1. I think you're right, Mary Beth, that gerunds end in "ing". When I taught Composition 101 at our community college, I had to refresh my memory on gerunds. Even then, I rushed through it, glad that no one asked any questions! And you're way more than half-way smart! Thanks for commenting.

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