A new year brings new words

Published 1:06 pm Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lifestyle Editor for Picayune Item

Lifestyle Editor for Picayune Item


The holiday season has come and gone leaving minimal regrets and many things to be grateful for.  One of the things I am grateful for are friends that share my love of words.

While beginning a new chapter in her own life, my friend Beth who recently purchased a home, was kind enough to share some of her vast book collection with me. Much to my delight, some of those included titles devoted to vocabulary building.

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Here are just a few of the words, which I have compiled while perusing through a few of the various volumes. See which ones you know. As always you will find the answers at the end of the column.




1. Anthropomorphic

2. Aphasia

3. Anomie

4. Double-entendre

5. Dross

6. Doxology

7. Efficacious

8. Effusion

9. Emend

10. Felicitous

11. Fiefdom

12. Gerrymander

13. Gossamer

14. Habiliment

15. Harbinger

16. Harlequin

17. Hinterlands

18. Hirsute

19. Insidious




A. Something of low quality or value.

B. To correct usually by textual alterations.

C. A statement in which one or many of the words may be interpreted in several ways, resulting in ambiguity.

D. Social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; as well as personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals.

E. A usually liturgical expression of praise to God.

F. Giving human characteristics to animals or other nonhumans.

G. An outpouring; an unrehearsed flow of speech or writing that is emotional in nature; a flow of liquid or gas.

H. A delicate, floating film of cobwebs; also thin or light as to take on the appearance of gossamer.

I. To divide voting districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to a particular party.

J.  A piece of clothing; a garment.

K. A comic character from the Italian commedia tradition, usually masked and wearing a tight-fitting costume.

L. An area far away from the coastline; also, an area far removed from a city.

M. Designed to entrap; happening or spreading harmfully but subtly; stealthily and seductively treacherous.

N. An appropriate to the moment or occasion; giving great pleasure.

O. The domain over which a feudal lord rules; an area over which one has control or domain.

P. Hairy.

Q. Producing the desired outcome.

R. The inability, resulting from brain damage, to understand words and/or ideas.

S. Someone or something that announces the approach of another, or of a forthcoming event.




1.F; 2.R; 3.D; 4.C; 5.A; 6.E; 7.Q; 8.G; 9.B; 10.N; 11.O; 12.I; 13.H; 14.J; 15.S; 16.K; 17. L; 18.P AND 19. M



Editor’s note:

The column information was verified at http://www.merriam-webster.com/.