I always seem to remember where I learn words as an adult I hadn’t known before.
Nudiustertian pertaining to the day before yesterday; it has nothing to do with strippers and nakedness. I’ve also discovered that, in the same linguistic family, hesternal relates to yesterday, and hodiernal pertains to today.
“The OED goes on to gives its only example of the use of the word in a sentence from 1647, taken from the ever-popular The simple cobler of Aggawam in America, written by Nathaniel Ward. ‘When I heare a‥Gentledame inquire‥what [is] the nudiustertian fashion of the Court; I mean the very newest.'”
I love such specific words. I also like this one, which is similar in intent: antepenultimate means “last but two in a series; third last. ‘The antepenultimate item on the agenda…'” Chapter 8 in a ten-chapter book also qualifies.
Somehow, I had not known the word penultimate, meaning next to last, until I had read it in an intro to the comic book Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini. #19 was the penultimate issue of the original series, which means that #18 was the antepenultimate one.
I always seem to remember where I learn words as an adult I hadn’t known before. The word ersatz means “(of a product) made or used as a substitute, typically an inferior one, for something else.” I first saw it in a book about albums by the Beatles, plus the solo works. Ringo’s Goodnight Vienna, which features contributions of the other three on various tracks, was described as an “ersatz Beatles album.”
ABC Wednesday, Round 15
There ARE a few words that I can specifically remember learning, and not just as a child, that I have regularly incorporated into my vocabulary.
The wallpaper is beginning to peel in our bedroom, probably because of a leak, now fixed by the new roof we got this summer. It’s always something with a house that’s about a century old. I said to The Wife, “This house is giving me agita.” She thought I had made up the word; I had not.
Agita (n) – a feeling of agitation or anxiety. “Judging by its spelling and meaning, you might think that ‘agita’ is simply a shortened version of ‘agitation,’ but that’s not the case. Both ‘agitation’ and the verb ‘agitate’ derive from Latin ‘agere’ (‘to drive’). ‘Agita,’ which first appeared in American English in the early 1980s, comes from a dialectical pronunciation of the Italian word ‘acido,’ meaning ‘heartburn’ or ‘acid,’ from Latin ‘acidus.’ (‘Agita’ is also occasionally used in English with the meaning ‘heartburn.’) For a while the word’s usage was limited to New York City and surrounding regions, but the word became more widespread in the mid-90s.”
So the Wife says, “Where did you learn that word?” I reply, “How the heck do I know?!”
But it got me to thinking that there ARE a few words that I can specifically remember learning, and not just as a child, that I have regularly incorporated into my vocabulary.
Ersatz (adj)- being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation. I learned this from a book about recordings by the Beatles, both as a group and as solo artists, that I read in the late 1970s. The writer referred to Ringo’s Goodnight Vienna LP as an “ersatz Beatles album.” All four Fabs appear, albeit not together, on the album.
Penultimate (adj) -next to the last. I was reading a black and white comic called Elfquest in the early 1980s, and in issue 19, co-creator Richard Pini noted that it was the penultimate issue. I’ve used the word a lot ever since.
Are there any words you picked up from reading as an adult that you didn’t know before but have integrated into your vocabulary?
In honor, two versions of the song Words by the Monkees.
TV show version