Top Ten Impressive Words with Mundane Meanings


There’s nothing like an impressive vocabulary to make having a normal conversation—or a game of Scrabble—so much more fun. This is particularly true if you have one of those annoying relatives that thinks that he is smarter than every person he encounters. Next time a conversation you are having is feeling a bit one sided or you just want to add a little zip to your word choice, try whipping out one of the words on this top ten list. They sound really important, but since they have pretty dull meanings you are likely to find a place to slip at least four or five into your normal day.

 

10. Borborygmus:

Telling somebody that you are suffering from borborygmus might make it sound like you are coping with something really horrible and that they might want to start putting together your final plans. In reality, virtually everybody deals with borborygmus on a daily basis. What is this mysterious affliction? Your tummy rumbling. The sound of gurgling or growling that comes from your stomach occasionally can be caused by food digesting or the gas in an empty belly being forced through your intestines.

 

9. Defenestration:

Death by defenestration definitely sounds like it could be the title of an upcoming Bond film, and it would be aptly so. A person that has recently been the victim of defenestration would probably not be feeling too good and an investigation may very well follow. Why? Defenestration is the act of throwing someone (or something, which is usually a much less dramatic situation) out of a window.

 

8. Anti-disestablishmentarianism:

 

This one sounds like a radical political stand, and in a way it is, but probably not in the way that you are thinking. If you are going to be a revolutionary in anti-disestablishmentarianism it is because you really want to hear prayers in school and completely ignore that whole evolution thing in your science class. This fearsome sounding word just means a movement that is against the legal separation of church and state. It is the opposition of disestablishmentarianism, which opposes having an “established” religion within the state.

 

7. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis:

 

You probably should have stretched before hearing that one. This is the longest word in the English language that doesn’t have any hyphens in it, and the longest word to ever appear in the English dictionary. If you look close, you will see pieces of the word that look like pneumonia, ultra microscopic, and volcanic. Is it an infection caused by inhaling itty bitty volcanoes? Close. It is a disease caused by the prolonged exposure to and inhalation of very fine siliceous dust. In other words…black lung. This disease generally afflicts coal miners, but can happen in other professionals as well as the family members that are often exposed to clothing that likely has a lot of this dust on it when the miner comes home from work.

 

6. Circumloquacious:

There are some words that are comprised of letters specifically put together in order to produce the phonic result that leans to the appropriate meaning or implication that is desired by a certain person in a certain situation and is—take a breath—completely useless. A person that is circumloquacious is one that likes to use a lot of “circular language” to try to get around making a point. Usually this happens when someone is trying to get around answering a question or figuring out a way to answer without really giving the whole truth. By talking around the point they are not only giving themselves extra time to think of what to say, but are also hopefully confusing the listener so that they no longer care what the actual answer is.

 

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