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23 of My Favorite Underrated Words

Signs I am low on content ideas: I write a list of words and their definitions, incorporating each *fun* word into a *sentence* a la 5th grade English class. It's either funny or not, and you're either my people, or not.

Abecedarian: Arranged in alphabetical sequence.

"I've arranged my books, condiments, personal documents, and soup cans in abecedarian sequence to gain a small sense of control in the midst of a worldwide, bat eatin' pandemic." (This list is also abecedarian.)

Bereft: Deprived; lacking something needed, wanted, or expected.

"The woman was left feeling bereft after her husband forgot their anniversary, as husbands are wont to do, so she baked a diuretic into their anniversary cake and ate none."

Caterwaul: To make a shrill howling or wailing noise like that of a cat.

"The neighbors young children produced much caterwaul when they came to understand that a worldwide pandemic is akin to an extended period of being grounded, but with TV."

Discomfiting: To feel uneasy or embarrassed.

"She did not enjoy the discomfiting feeling of being virtually stalked by strange men, so she inhabited an online persona of a hairy plumber with a beer belly and missing incisors."

Egregious: Outstandingly bad or shocking.

"As an environmental advocate, she found the amount of plastic straws in tortoise noses egregious and spent her life savings purchasing alternative straws made out of metal, glass, paper, bamboo, and recycled socks, all of which were dissatisfying." (She probably stopped using straws.)

Felicitous: Well suited or expressed; fortunate.

"In a felicitous turn of events, she won the lottery the night before she planned to file for bankruptcy." Dreams are fun, no?

Gobbledygook: Incomprehensible jargon; gibberish.

"The politician's speech was filled with gobbledygook, but for some reason the people loved him, and shouted "lock her up!" and elected him president."

Harbinger: A person or thing that foreshadows a future event.

"A virus once spread across an entire planet, a harbinger of a new era in which failure to wash hands is punishable by law and public sneezing is a finable offense."

Imperturbable: Marked by extreme calm; serene.

"Deaf great-aunt Gloria wore an imperturbable expression in the midst of a heated, Thanksgiving Day argument centered around social justice warriors, abortions, and guns."

Jeremiad: A long and mournful story, often prophesying doom or decrying the sad state of society.

"If you consider the jeremiads from both the political left and right, you would believe the country was about to go up in flames."

Knavery: A roguish or mischievous act.

"A Clockwork Orange is an R-rated novel about a young boy engaging in myriad knaveries."

Loquacious: Talkative, especially when excessively so.

"The loquacious young man was well suited to pursue a career as a sports commentator."

Melange: A mixture or medley.

"The chef sauteed a melange of herbs and vegetables to serve alongside his world-famous face meats and mulled wine."

Nascent: Having recently come into existence.

"Her nascent comedy career is off to a promising start after she landed a recurring guest spot on Saturday Night Live. "

Obfuscate: To make something obscure or otherwise hard to understand.

"The professor became unpopular because he seemed to obfuscate the lesson plans to make his course more difficult."

Penultimate: Next to last.

"Everyone's heard of The Last Supper, but the penultimate supper has been largely forgotten."

Quiddity: The essence of a person or thing.

"As a lifelong, middle-aged f*ckboy, he had a difficult time understanding that his quiddity was repulsive to self-respecting women."

Rankle: Cause persistent annoyance or resentment.

"The longer she waited to express annoyance, the more rankled she became. Eventually, she exploded, and her head popped off, and she had to find a seamstress capable of sewing her head back in its proper place."

Scintillating: Shining brightly; brilliantly clever or skillful.

"Devoid of human contact for many weeks, he craved the scintillating conversation characteristic of his daily life as an accountant."

(Just kidding, accountants aren't fun.)

Turgid: Excessively ornate; pompous and overblown language.

"There are millions of badly written manuscripts that never reached publication due to their turgid language and excessive use of the pronoun 'I.'"

Unkempt: Uncared-for or neglected; disheveled; messy.

"We are all feeling a bit unkempt after a solid month of wearing PJ's and drinking too much chardonnaynay." (Or is that just me?)

Vacuous: Lacking in intelligence or ideas. Devoid of meaning.

"One consequence of surrounding oneself with vacuous humans is becoming vacuous oneself."

Winsome: Innocently charming, engaging, or appealing.

"Some may find a small, thatched-roofed cottage winsome, while others may find it wildly unhygienic and massively unappealing."

XYZ: All these words are boring and dumb.

P.S. I asked some of my favorite virtual friends for their best underrated words. Consider this a fun bonus. Let your brains stretch, and you're welcome.

Paradox: a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement.

Profound: great or intense.

Gesticulating: dramatic gestures used to emphasize one's words.

Bequeath: leave (a personal estate or one's body) to a person or other beneficiary by a will.

Decadent: luxuriously self-indulgent.

Crapulent: relating to the drinking of alcohol or drunkenness.

Hinky: dishonest or suspect

Incognito: concealing one's true identity

Indubitably: impossible to doubt.

Cattawampus: askew or awry.

Dirigible: a blimp, like Goodyear, but any blimp will do.

Moot: having little or no practical relevance, typically because the subject is too uncertain to allow a decision.

Flummoxed: bewildered or perplexed.

Certitude: absolute certainty or conviction.

Elucidate: explain or clarify

Proclivity: predisposition toward a particular thing.

Inchoate: rudimentary

Behoove: a duty or responsibility for someone to do something.

Querulous: complaining in a petulant or whining manner.

Euneirophrenia: the feeling of wanting to go back to sleep in attempt to finish a pleasant dream.


Sarah Rose

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