IRL

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."

diffyqgirl

Meretriz means hooker in spanish; almost the same thing.

ChallengeTaken99

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

ArcadiaPlanitia

Story of my life.

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

Scrappy_Larue

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."

thepiratecorey

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.

CertifiedBreads

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.

etikawatchjojo132

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

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

DConstructed

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

I am a psithurist.

SoyboyExtraordinaire

Only the psithurists deal in absolutes.

Kerbobotat

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

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

myfuturepast

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!

popsicle_styx

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

dulcian_

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.

Electric-Banana

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

fubo

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

PM_BETTER_USER_NAME

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

Kerbobotat

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 dictionary.com and clicked on an article about whether anything rhymes with orange. So yes, something does rhyme with it!

vengefulgrapes

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

rnembrane

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.

ncouch212

Feels nice.

Apricity- the warmth of sunlight in winter.

DigLikeAShovel

"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.

Ironass47

Mood.

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!

BeeElEl

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

ImOkReally

You're an anti-dentite!

Beovulvd

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

dulcian_

Love the rain.

Pluviophile - deriving happiness from the rain.

AllergicToTaterTots

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

analambanomenos

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).

AllergicToTaterTots

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.

electro_chicken

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.

DragoonDM

Astronomy and physics is filled with it.

"That black hole is massive!"
"How massive?"
"Supermassive!"
"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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