The letter quoted below conveys an exuberant love and mastery of words, as well as being a world class job application.  Savour some of the words that sparkle, appeal, intrigue or otherwise grab me, including those in other languages.  And adoring alliteration, new words are added on Wednesdays.  Wednesday, word day.

Dear Sir,

I like words.  I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady. I like solemn, angular, creaky words, such as strait-laced, cantankerous, pectinous, valedictory. I like spurious, black-is-white words, such as mortician, liquidate, tonsorial, demi-monde. I like suave “V” words, such as Svengali, svelte, bravura, verve. I like crunchy, brittle, crackly words, such as splinter, grapple, jostle, crusty. I like sullen, crabbed, scowling words, such as skulk, glower, scabby, churl. I like Oh-Heavens, my-gracious, land’s-sake words, such as tricksy, tucker, genteel, horrid. I like elegant, flowery words, such as estivate, peregrinate, elysium, halcyon. I like wormy, squirmy, mealy words, such as crawl, blubber, squeal, drip. I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp. 

I like the word screenwriter better than copywriter, so I decided to quit my job in a New York advertising agency and try my luck in Hollywood, but before taking the plunge I went to Europe for a year of study, contemplation and horsing around. 

I have just returned and I still like words. May I have a few with you? 

Robert Pirosh

 

Source: Letter No. 009 in ‘Letters of Note’, comp. Shaun Usher (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013), p. 36

Asses

‘A pace of asses’ can be seen in a small corral in the centre of our village.   The same collective...

Eldritch

An unusual word, I can't remember when I last saw it used: weird and sinister, or ghostly, rhymes with 'witch'....

Squab

Nice, squat, fat, short word.  A short sofa, according to Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, though the dictionary says it...

Barons

‘A thought of barons’ – this is a hard one to grasp, as barons aren’t known for thinking any more...

Lummocks / lummox

Again, this was in a 1930s English classic, though the dictionary says it's American, so perhaps it's still in use. “He’ll...

Kine

An archaic plural for 'cows', used here as Orlando gets carried away on a roller-coaster of metaphors.

'She likened the...

Errin-og

Williamson says this is a 'name given by fishermen to porpoises', perhaps in dialect.  It doesn't appear in the massive...

Windrows

‘A long line of raked hay, corn sheaves, or peats laid out to dry in the wind.  In North American...

Sog

'Down a crumbling sog of peat and into the still brown-clear water.'

Of course, we speak of 'soggy' pasta or...

Hefted

The sheep are ‘hefted’, taught a sense of belonging to a place by their mothers when they are lambs.   They...

Hauberk

A piece of armour covering originally only neck and shoulders but later consisting of a full length coat of mail...

Seax

Seen in the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, a 'seax', an Anglo-Saxon single-edged knife.  The photo is of a replica, which...

Quant

In my infinite ignorance, I thought 'quant' was the name for clever mathematicians who work for hedge funds.   Then I...

Slummock

Glorious word this, describing a dirty, untidy or slovenly person, or behaving in a lazy, indolent or clumsy way, as...

Belve

'The great pied hound with the belving tongue.'

Williamson uses this several times to describe baying hounds in pursuit of...

Joy’s handsell

This rare word refers to 'a new year's present to wish good luck', or a foretaste, as used in George...

Bishops

‘A bench of bishops’ – see them all lined up in their finery on a long carved wooden bench.  This...

Clitter

'Tarka gave chase to a rabbit during the next night, bolting it from a hillside clitter of rocks in a...

Quviannikumut

A glorious Eskimo word for feeling deeply happy - I wish you many moments of quviannikumut.

'Sitting high on a...

The surface of the word should be vast.

Nezami – Azeri poet

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