People Reveal Which Rare English Words They Use Daily And How They Learned Them

Big words: it's fun having them in our lexicon so we can impress our friends. Here is a list of 10 amazing SAT words.

WintersReach1207 asked: What are some words in the English language we've probably never heard before, and why do you know them?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

Wow just @me next time.

I like the word meretricious. It sounds like it should mean "something that has merit" but it actually means "something that looks pretty but is worthless (in a negative connotations kind of way)."

It used to mean "like a prostitute."


Meretriz means hooker in spanish; almost the same thing.


It's from the Latin "meretrix," which originally met "working girl" but quickly became slang for a prostitute. Same root word as "merit."


Story of my life.

Lethologica: The inability to remember the right word. Good luck remembering that.


All I have to do is remember this word and use it when ever I forget a word "ah my damn lethologica is acting up again."


Fun fact relating to this word: in greek mythology, "lethe" is the name of one of the 5 rivers in the underworld, the river of forgetfulness.


Hear it.

Psithurism: the sound of rustling leaves.

I was really tired one day, and misspelled psychology really, REALLY badly in Google, and got recommended this word.


I like susurrus. It's a murmuring or rustling.

Put psithurism and susurrus together and you've got a real tongue twister.


I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative, communist or socialist.

I am a psithurist.


Only the psithurists deal in absolutes.


Kerf, the space left behind after a saw has cut through something.

...Is this the shortest word in the thread?


More specifically it's the width of the cut made by a blade or cutting torch.

Sample scenario:

Person A: We're gonna cut this steel beam into two pieces. Both pieces need to be 10 feet long. How much beam do we need?

Person B: Well the kerf on the cutting torch is 1/8th of an inch, so we need a minimum of 20 feet 1/8 inches of material!


A similar word is "swarf," which is the material removed by the saw, or by other cutting tools.


Half a gallon?

I was wondering why liquid measurements double from one to the next (a pint is 2 cups, a quart is 2 pints), but there was nothing between a quart and a gallon. Turns out a pottle is 2 quarts.


It's kinda weird that traditional American units of fluid volume are very close to being a binary scale.


The only useful thing the imperial system ever gave the world was the word "fathom" so that we could accurately describe it as "unfathomable."


They also gave us Butt-load, used to measure wine. A Butt-load is 2 hogs heads, which is 126 gallons.


OMG, orange DOES have a rhyme.

Sporange: a rare botanical term denoting the sac where spores are made.

I know it because I was on and clicked on an article about whether anything rhymes with orange. So yes, something does rhyme with it!


Somebody should tell Eminem we found a word that rhymes with orange.


My brothers and I would mix sprite and Fanta together whenever we got fast food and would name it sporange. We thought we were geniuses who invented a new word but now my childhood has been ruined.


Feels nice.

Apricity- the warmth of sunlight in winter.


"Sunshine on my shoulder gives me sunburn

Sunshine in my eyes can make me blind

Sunshine on the water makes it lukewarm

Sunshine almost always make me cry."

Jose Feliciano's parody of the Jonh Denver song.



Eccedentesiast, it's someone who hide his pain with a smile. I know it because I was once a emo teen.

Edit: thanks for the silver! When I woke up today I never thought I would even write Eccedentesiast. Now I already wrote twice!


It sounds like some one who used to be into dentists but isn't any more.


You're an anti-dentite!


Guessing the etymology is from Latin ecce, "behold," so like "one who shows off their teeth" in a false display of happiness.


Love the rain.

Pluviophile - deriving happiness from the rain.


Maybe because you enjoy the smell of the ground after it rains -- called petrichor.


This is right on the nose, I have a really sensitive sense of smell and my favorite thing ever is the smell of the air as/after it rains.

My restaurant is also adjacent to a forest and thats even better. There's something in leaves or plants that is smellable after rain but I can't remember what it is (r/tipofmytongue).


This is the most fun to think about.

Spaghettification is one of my favorite words: the process by which an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole.


That seems like the kind of word you'd find in the draft copy of a paper on theoretical astrophysics, with a note next to it that says "come up with less stupid name later," but then the authors got sidetracked.


Astronomy and physics is filled with it.

"That black hole is massive!"
"How massive?"
"Nice, intern, write that down!"

"So we got this new hadron collider, but it's bigger"
"So it's a large hadron collider? Cool, that'll do."

"Hey boss, we've been fiddling with the frequency generator. It goes much lower than radio waves."
"How low?"
"Very low."
"A very low frequency, huh."
"Wait it goes even lower!"
"How low?"
"Extremely low!"
"Wow, we've got a lot of data to analyze. No time to make fancy sounding names; very low and extremely low it is."


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