Red Difficult Stamp

Do You Know What a Quincunx Is?

by Amy Lewis

Here at Stylist we like to consider ourselves wordsmiths. Delving into literature is our thing, words are our jam, complex sentence structure is where we get our daily wins. You know the type.

But even so, we were stumped when it came to a list of some of the most unusual words in the English dictionary.

Compiled by the folks at Raconteur, the list includes nouns, adjectives and verbs ranging from the reasonably well-known “flabbergast”, to more obscure words, including “quincunx”, “tintinnabulation” and, our personal favourite, “floccinaucinihilipilification”.

Certain you could get those three into a sentence? Test yourself with the full list below…

​Deliquescent
Adjective: Becoming liquid, or having a tendency to become liquid.

Flabbergast
Verb: Surprise someone greatly.

Flimflam
Noun: Nonsensical or insincere talk.

Floccinaucinihilipilification
Noun: The action or habit of estimating something as worthless.

Limerence
Noun: The state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person.

Loquacious
Adjective: Tending to talk a great deal; talkative.

Obdurate
Adjective: Stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or course of action.

Omnishambles
Noun: A situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations.

Penumbra
Noun: The partially shaded outer region of the shadow cast by an opaque object.

Persiflage
Noun: Light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.

Perspicacious
Adjective: Having a ready insight into and understanding of things.

Quincunx
Noun: An arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its centre, used for the five on a dice or playing card.

Tintinnabulation
Noun: A ringing or tinkling sound.

Triskaidekaphobia
Noun: Extreme superstition regarding the number thirteen.

Velleity
Noun: A wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action.

 

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