Pelf, n.; money or gain that is acquired in a dishonest way or is viewed with contempt. From Old French pelfre meaning “booty, stolen goods”, related to the word pilfer. [via, see, et]


Adventitious, adj. meaning “happening by chance”, “associated by chance”, “coming from another source”; or, in biology, “appearing sporadically or in an abnormal or unusual place”; from the Latin adventicius, meaning foreign. [see, et, et]

To an intellectual person the whole business of love-making is ridiculous, and without dignity. Dreams and fancies are invoked to give it an adventitious interest, and so a sort of mesmerism is exercised, and blissful dreams of eternal happiness come into existence, depending for their duration very much upon the sympathy between the imaginations of the lovers, which sometimes is powerful enough to build up a reality from a vision. However this may be, when love comes in at the door intellect flies out of the window or sleeps the sleep of the disgusted. When it returns to its habitation it delivers stern judgment on the follies that have been committed in its absence.

— Florence Farr, The Dancing Faun [via]


Appetence, n. From the Latin, appetere, to strive after; meaning the state or action of a strong desire, tendency or attraction. Also, appentent as an adjective. [via, see, et, et]


Adianoeta, n. From the Greek for ‘unintelligible’, an expression with both an obvious and another subtle, or even esoteric, meaning; like an allegory or double entendre [via, also, et]. Presumably adianoeta might be translated as, something like, “not through things known” [see].

Amusingly and awesomely, therefore, the word adianoeta is itself an adianoeta, since it implies both that a thing has a secondary esoteric meaning, but also, more subtly, that a thing is unintelligible.


Stigmergy, n. the spontaneous, indirect organization that emerges out of the seeming chaos of individuals doing their work, a principle of systems which perhaps suggests that individual agents doing their work create non-coördinated self-organization which makes it possible for others to more efficiently do their own work. [ht, see, et, et]


Conforaneus, adj. Of the same court or market, something occurring in the same arena. From the Latin conforaneus meaning using the same forum. [see,also]


Malapert, adj. Saucy, insolent, outspoken. From the Latin, mal- meaning badly, wrongly and apertum meaning open. [see,et,also] I presume, open in the sense of impolite, impolitic and unrestrained; as in the way that “uncovered language” is impolite and bawdy.


Desuetude, n. A state of disuse, from the Latin desuetudo meaning outdated, no longer custom. Also, “a doctrine that causes statutes, similar legislation or legal principles to lapse and become unenforceable by a long habit of non-enforcement or lapse of time” [see].


Sciolist, n. An archaic word for a person who pretends to be learned, knowledgable, or well-informed, from Latin sciolus which is a diminutive of scius meaning knowing. il Dottore, though he doesn’t know he doesn’t know it, is an expert sciolist.


Anent, prep. An archaic word which means “concerning” used much as some usage of “about” currently.


Taciturn, adj. silent, uncommunicative, withdrawn, tight-lipped.

I recently used a word in a conversation that I can’t find in any dictionary. The word I’ve used, and have heard before, is “Tacturn” … but, the only evidence of this word I’m finding is “Taciturn” which doesn’t sound anything like “Tacturn” unless you say your Latin with hard C’s, which, you know, I tend to prefer anyway.

Is this like “Wheelbarrow”? You see, for the longest time, I thought the word was “Wheelbarrel” as a kid, and eventually found out that I was using a word that didn’t exist in the dictionary.

It’s kind of a trip to find out that a word I thought I knew and was familiar with is, in fact, not a real word, but is rather just a common misspelling.