Top Ten Impressive Words with Mundane Meanings



5. Soporific:

While this word may be the perfect way to describe yourself after you stuff yourself at the Thanksgiving table, we caution not to say it in front of your granny who may think that you are insulting her cooking, not knowing that you just mean sleepy. You can tell just by looking at it… “sopor” looks like “stupor”…well, maybe not. It does sound pretty sleepy, however.


4. Chthonic:

This is the best word ever if you are suddenly challenged to a spelling bee to the death. Not only does no one know what it means, but the “ch” is silent. If you are required to use it in a sentence, however, you could try, “the chthonic deities were closely linked to ideas of fertility, though this was not their exclusive domain.”  This may confuse your opponent even more, but you will know that all chthonic really means is referring to or involving the gods and goddesses of the underworld of Greece. In more modern usage, the word is used to refer to just about anything pertaining to the underworld.


3. Malapropism:

Do you accept that except when they’re there, your aunt’s ants are here? If that sentence confused you, you may be dealing with a little bit of malapropism. Still confused? Malapropism is switching or misusing words that sound very similar when spoken, either in conversation or in writing. It is easy to do, but can quickly knock your conversational intelligence quota down a few notches.


2. Sobriquet:

Without having any other information, what can you assume that Jimmy, Joey, Slim, Ricky, BooBoo, Cindy, Filly, and Ace all have in common? That’s right, a sobriquet.  Of course, there is a chance that that assumption could be wrong. After all, maybe Ace’s great grandfather was a flying Ace in WWII or Filly’s parents have a major fascination with horses. You never know. Most likely, however, these names should be something like James, Joseph, Samuel, Richard, Brian, Cynthia, Shawn, and Lee rather than the nicknames—the sobriquets.


1. Slugabed:

This may be the cutest vaguely negative reference word around. Calling somebody a slugabed would rarely be done in an affectionate tone and would often be followed up with demands that you get up so that your sheets could be changed. It just means a very late sleeper—and what is a very late sleeper like more than a slug on a bed?

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