Grammar

A Few Weird Words

In this week’s edition of the “Saturday Six,” (see last post) I asked which of five words looked interesting enough that you’d actually want to know what it meant.

If you haven’t already answered, stop reading until you play!

If you have, I thought I’d save everyone a little effort and include the actual definitions of the words. I’d love to know whether anyone knew any of the definitions for any of the words in advance. I didn’t recognize any of them, which is why I picked those words.

Anyway…here they are:

ALLOCHTHONOUS (uh LOK thuh nus) — Adjective. Describes rocks and minerals originating in one place but found elsewhere as a result of the movement of the earth’s crust.

GALLIMAUFRY (gal uh MAW free) — Noun. A jumble, a hodge-podge, a mishmash.

OUBLIETTE (ooh blee ET) — Noun. A secret pit in the floor of a dungeon, enclosed by four thick walls, accessible only through a trap door at the top, through which the wretched prisoner would be flung and forgotten.

TATTERDEMALION (tat ur deh MALE yun) — Noun. A ragamuffin, someone in tattered clothes.

ZUMBOORUKCHEE (ZUM boo RUK chee) — Noun. A zumbooruk is a small cannon mounted on the back of a camel. A Zumboorukchee is the gunner who fires it.

The words are defined with great affection in 2000 Most Challenging and Obscure Words by Norman W. Schur.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.