Vocability: Absence makes the heart grow fonder

Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 8, 2014


I have had a craving for obscure words recently, which I am sure is directly related to recent reading selections at bedtime.

There are three different types of books I love. The first are books that I can just lose myself in and not put down until I finish them. Those are for weekends. The second are books that inform me about topics I am interested in. Those are for during the week because I do not need hours set aside for a marathon read. The last are books, which I totally have no interest in but can stand the topic and are grammatically well written. Those are for bedtime.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I could not name titles of my late night reading material if my life depended on it and half of the time I don’t remember the last thing I read before dozing off. But they help me go to sleep and reintroduce me to words I have long forgotten.

This week’s column contains a few of those obscure words that you may have read in English class required reading but have rarely, if ever, used. Check your retention of these words and remember that, as always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.



1. abstemious

2. alluvion

3. brogan

4. blazon

5. boll

6. conducive

7. consanguineous

8. consternation

9. datum

10. decameter

11. declamation

12. delectation

13. demulcent

14. desultory

15. diacritical

16. effete

17. effulgence

18. epicure

19. eschew

20. fealty

21. foible

22. Germane

23. Globose

24. Grandiloquent

25. Gynecocracy

26. Harangue

27. Heptarchy



A. v. To make widely or generally known.

B. adj. Descended from the same parent or ancestor.

C. n. A premise, starting-point, or given fact.

D. n. Splendor.

E. n. One who cultivates a delicate taste for eating and drinking.

F. n. Female supremacy.

G. adj. Characterized by self denial or abstinence, as in the use of drink, food.

H. n. Panic.

I. n. Any application soothing to an irritable surface.

J. n. A group of seven governments.

K. n. A speech recited or intended for recitation from memory in public.

L. adj. Marking a difference.

M. n. A length of ten meters.

N. n. Flood.

O. adj. Contributing to an end.

P. adj. Not connected with what precedes.

Q. n. A coarse, heavy shoe.

R. n. Delight.

S. n. A round pod or seed-capsule, as a flax or cotton.

T. n. A tirade.

U. adj. Relevant.

V. n. Loyalty.

W. adj. Speaking in or characterized by a pompous or bombastic style.

X. v. To keep clear of.

Y. n. A personal weakness or failing.

Z. adj. Spherical.

AA. adj. Exhausted, as having performed its functions.



1.G; 2. N; 3.Q; 4. A; 5.S; 6.O; 7.B; 8. H; 9. C; 10. M; 11. K; 12.R; 13. I; 14. P; 15. L; 16. AA; 17. D; 18. E; 19. X; 20.V; 21. Y; 22. U; 23. Z; 24. W 25. F; 26. T and 27. J


This column was written with information from http://www.freevocabulary.com/.