Have you ever faked being sick to get the day off from work? Well, you were egroting. Have you ever laid a shampoo bottle on its side to draw the stubborn goop out of the bottom? You were duffifying.
Here is a collection of some English words that you probably do not know and might actually find useful:
balter (v.): to dance artlessly, without particular grace or skill but usually with enjoyment.
Example: “Never underestimate the healing power of listening to your favorite music on full blast while baltering”
chork (v.): to make the noise that feet do when one’s shoes are full of water.
Example: “Caught in the rainstorm with no shelter, he was soon chorking his way toward a terrible cold.”
duffifie (v.): to lay a bottle on its side for some time so that it may be completely drained of the few drops remaining.
Example: “The relationship started to fall apart when Dennis uprighted a bottle of ketchup that Sarah had been duffifying for days.”
egrote (v.): to feign sickness in order to avoid work.
Example: “Among lazy men, egroting is a pursuit of perfection.”
feague (v.): to put a live eel up a horse’s bottom; used figuratively to describe encouraging someone or getting their spirits up.
Example: “I’ve heard Ann Romney’s secret to winning dressage is feaguing Rafalca right before the competition.”
This word, used in the 1700s by what were apparently kinky horse-traders, came from a reference called Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.
jehu (n.): a fast or furious driver.
Example: “So I’ve got an idea for a movie. We get a bunch of jehus—well, that’s about it..” A jehu is named for Jehu, a Biblical figure who “driveth furiously” as he went to murder King Ahab by the Lord’s decree.
metanoia (n.): the journey of changing one’s mind, spirit, heart, self or way of life; fundamental change of mind; spiritual conversion.
Example: Metanoia in the psychological theory of Carl Jung denotes a process of reforming the psyche as a form of self healing, a proposed explanation for the phenomenon of psychotic breakdown .
This one actually has its origins in Greek.
pedeconference (n.): to hold a meeting while walking.
Example: “Roughly 40% of the West Wing is footage of people pedeconferencing.”
redamancy (n.): the act of loving the one who loves you; loving in return
Example: “Despite his lack of redamancy her passion for him was unabated for several years.”
scuddle (v.): to run with an affected haste.
Example: “Desperate to look important and with nothing to do, she scuddled around the office like a pinball.”
serendipity (n.): the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident; finding something good without looking for it.
Example: “Sarah had known Josh for years and had a crush on him. She never knew that Josh liked her too. It must have been serendipity that their mutual friend Alice set them up on a blind date.”
snollygoster. (n.): One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.
Example : “Even though he professed to not be a crook, our president was still a bit of a snollygoster, wasn’t he?”
throttlebottom (n.): a dishonest man who holds public office.
Example: “’That Barack Obama is a downright throttlebottom!’ said the Tea Party supporter who feigned political opinions so he could wear colonial garb.”
Other great political insults include flapdoodler, lollie boy, pollywog and quockerwodger.
uhtceare (n.): lying awake before dawn and worrying.
Example: “Knowing that some object he owned had been secretly put in the toilet bowl, Jerry lay awake, plagued by uhtceare.”
Pronounced oot-key-are-a, the word breaks down into two parts: uht, a word for the restless hour before dawn and ceare, an Old English term for care and sorrow.
zarf (n.): the cup-shaped holder for a hot coffee cup that keeps you from burning your fingers.
Example: “Forgetting a zarf often leads to a dangerous game of hot potato.”
In the olden days, zarfs were typically metal or ornamental. These days they’re referred to as ‘one of those little cardboard thingys.
1. Horologicon by Mark Forsyth