Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Wondrous Words: The Superior Person's Second Book of Weird & Wondrous Words by Peter Bowler


My friend, Rae, gave The Superior Person's Second Book of Weird & Wondrous Words to me, and I spent a day reading through it, and I loved it so much that I looked up book one on Amazon and ordered it the same day.

It's a book of words, presented with a short definition and used in a sentence. It's snarky, to be sure. Here's a couple of example:

HESTERNOPOTHIA n. A pathological yearning for the good old days. You know---when World War II was in full swing, your children got diphtheria, and dentists used slow drills and no anesthetic.

JUMENTOUS a. Pertaining to the smell of horse urine. So says the dictionary. But what could possibly be pertaining to the smell of horse urine? And how could it so pertain? Is this word really necessary?

Fun, right?

Besides just enjoying reading all the weird & wondrous words and reading the odd ways the author used them in a sentence, I ran across words I would actually like to add to my vocabulary:

KALOKAGATHIA n. A condition or state in which the good and the beautiful are combined. Wouldn't that be helpful? If you saw something beautiful and knew it was also good? Like The Good Witch of the North in Wizard of Oz?

EUMOIROUS a. Lucky or happy as a result of being good. Which, had I been in charge of creating the universe, would always happen.

EPISTEMOPHILIA n. An abnormal preoccupation with knowledge. I might have just a touch of this.

CATACHRESIS n. Misapplication of a word. Never. That I will admit.

QUADDLE v. To grumble. Quaddling sounds so much better than grumbling.

WITZELSUCHT n. An emotional state characterized by futile attempts at humor. I've seen this so many times. It's so futile. And it's hard to watch. Will I remember the proper name for this behavior the next time I see it? Unlikely.

Finally, I leave you with: 

SAXICOLOUS. a. Living or growing among rocks. Guys, my husband has been a rock collector since he was a little boy. He has an entire shop filled with rocks. Since I learned this word I have delighted in telling him how happy I am that I am married to a saxicolous man. Saxicolous. Such a great word.

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.


  1. As usual, what a great idea for a post. I enjoyed every single one of the words.

    Saxicolous, in my experience, all little boys start out like that. Not everyone carries on, though. Congrats you have a hubby like that.

    As to "Witzelsucht", recognized it as German right away and could tell what it means but I had never heard that word. Maybe because we Germans arent's supposed to be funny? LOL

  2. Wha ha ha! I loved your description of the good old days in hesternophia. Very true yes. I need to get to a dentist, but luckily I know they don't use slow drills any more and they have the blessed anisthesia.

    I also like saxicolous! I'm like that a bit. I love collecting rocks and all my little plants have their own rocks. I sometimes pick up more rocks than shells on the beach.

    Thanks for taking part in WWW! Enjoy the rest of your week, Debbie!

  3. Those are fun words. I am glad I don't live back in the good old days. lol

    1. My grandfather always said, "Good old days? These are the good old days!"

  4. What fun words! I'm a girl, but I collected rocks as a child. One night, my mother picked my jeans up off the floor after we children were all asleep, and a huge rock WHAMMED down on the floor from my pocket. I'll try to remember saxicolous to add to my WORD collection.

    1. New words are so much fun to use. Glad to know you were saxicolous in your youth, Bonnie.

  5. Oh, I like quaddle! This sounds like a great book for my husband. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Deb!

  6. What a fun ans silly-sounding book. Love the words you highlighted.

  7. I didn't know every single one of those words! How interesting!


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