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


'... and mossed trees in the goyals.'

A dialect word for a trench or ravine, also spelled goyle or or...

Time to latibulate

'Lockdown' sounds wretchedly penal and miserably incarcerate, so I was delighted to meet this alternative. How much more pleasant to...


Stuck?  In a tight corner?  No going forward ... or back?  Call yourself Cragfast. A sheep cornered on a crag,...


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


Good things come to those who wait? This Eskimo word evokes a quality that purveyors of instant gratification wouldn't like,...


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

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


Another and charming word for 'daffodils', which are also more commonly referred to as 'daffs'.

"Crocuses an' snowdrops an' daffydowndillys. ...

Syke (or sike)

Scottish & N. English: Alternative spelling of 'sike' meaning a small stream or rill, typically one that flows through marshy...


'... to where the banks were glidden into mud smothered by the sea.'

An English dialect word meaning to 'glaze...

Shoat or shote

A North American word for a young pig, especially one which is newly weaned.

Source: OED and Barry Lopez, Arctic...


'... potwallopers grazing marsh.'

This is a variant of 'potwaller', a curious and arcane English method of deciding who gets...

A cowardice of curs

What a pity we no longer use 'cur' to objurgate someone.   And how appropriate that the collective noun should be...


A lovely word this, mainly Scottish or Irish, meaning to wander about aimlessly: stravaiging about the streets.   May you stravaig...


'... under the mazzard orchards growing on the northern slope of the valley.'

According to the OED, mazzard is a...

A bask of crocodiles

Delightful collective noun this, suggesting a harmless creature soaking up the sun on a warm mud bank.  Just don't tread...


Drury tells us that 'according to Pliny and alchemical tradition, this was a mythical serpent, coiled and fiery, perversely hatched...

The surface of the word should be vast.

Nezami – Azeri poet


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