Monday, August 12, 2013

100 Words That I Really Should Know.

Recently on pinterest I saw a graphic for the 100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know. I took this to be a challenge.

My original responses to the words are in black "ink." Comments and corrections made AFTER I checked the definitions, are in blue.

 - - - - - - - - - 

abjure -- when you injure your abdomen, you ABJURE it.

WRONG! It's a verb meaning 'to solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim).'

abrogate -- I have no clue. But I'm sure that it's a verb. 

WRONG! "Repeal or do away with (a law, right, or formal agreement)."

[Oh good God, we are not off to a stellar start]

abstemious -- acting in moderation


acumen -- expertise

CORRECT! Means 'experience or expertise in something' or 'the ability to make good judgments--keen insight.'

antebellum -- I only know this word because it came up once when LeVar Burton was kicking ass on Celebrity Jeopardy. It relates to a pre-war period, particularly as it relates to the American Civil War.


auspicious -- noteworthy.

WRONG! Sort of. More accurately it means "favourable or propitious."

belie -- subterfuge

Huh. Erm. Partial points on this one. It means "represent falsely"

bellicose -- pugilistic.

CORRECT! 'Warlike or hostile in manner or temperament."

bowdlerize -- How you look when wearing a fancy Bowler hat.

WRONG! Which is no wonder since I had never heard this word till now. It means "To remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable from (a book, for example)." And refers to Thomas Bowdler who published a heavily edited and sanitized copy of Shakespeare's works.

chicanery -- goofin' around with some birds.

WRONG! "The use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose"

chromosome --the DNA molecule
CORRECT(ish). More accurately it is "an organized structure of DNAprotein, and RNA found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes,regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences."

churlish -- as in, I have a tendency to be churlish when people cast aspersions on my intellect, which is why it was a bad idea to write this particular post.


circumlocution -- locating by circling.

WRONG! The correct answer is "an ambiguous or roundabout figure of speech." 

circumnavigate -- When I was 10, I wrote an essay about Magellan circumcizing the world. Once my mom stopped laughing she made me look up both terms in the dictionary. This is why I know it means travelling around something and returning to your point of origin.


deciduous -- descriptor given to trees that lose their foliage annually.
CORRECT! I would like to dedicate this answer to my father who is a forester and should feel very pleased that I did eventually learn SOMETHING related to trees.

deleterious -- harmful.

diffident -- This is how someone with a lisp says dissident.
WRONG! It means "Modest or shy because of a lack of self-confidence." Modest? Shy? Lack of self-confidence? I am completely unfamiliar with the very concept of this word. 

enervate -- make vigourous

WRONG! Hey. Wait a minute. This means: causing a person to feel drained of energy. So when my husband says I'm enverating he is NOT complementing me. What the -- ?!  He is in trouble. 

enfranchise -- empower with voting rights


epiphany -- EUREKA!


equinox -- Twice annual equinox marks the beginning of spring and the beginning of fall. Not nearly as showy or as lauded as the solstice.

euro -- Currency in the European Economic Union. Alternately, a prefix I affix to the term "clean," as in: By North American standards a person smelling of Gauloises cigarettes, garlic and sweat, would be told to get a shower. But in France he's okay because he is euro-clean.


evanescent -- temporary

Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing. Ergo: CORRECT!

expurgate -- when you get rid of offensive aspects As in, "I'm thinking of expurgating all the incorrect definitions I wrote in this post."


facetious -- to communicate insincerely with humourous intent


fatuous -- silly


feckless -- Walking around without a feck in the world! Alternately: behaving irresponsibly.


fiduciary -- Related to finances.

WRONG. Darn it. I was doing so well with these F-words. It means:  a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.

filibuster -- attempting to delay the adoption of a law or bill by speaking or debating the matter, at length (within a session of parliament).


gamete -- relating to reproduction

CORRECT. But more specifically it means, "a sex, or reproductive, cell containing only one set of dissimilar chromosomes, or half of the genetic material necessary to form a complete organism"

gauche -- derived from the French word for 'left,' it's used as a synonym for tacky or low class.


gerrymander -- What keeps happening to the electoral boundaries in my region and this is why the Conservatives keep winning in my riding.

CORRECT! But a more useful definition is: to divide (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible

hegemony -- a form of power.

Wikipedia says it is"an indirect form of government, and of imperial dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules geopolitically subordinate states by the implied means of power, the threat of force, rather than by direct military force." So technically, I'm CORRECT, but I would have not been able to use this term accurately. This is because I have really only encountered 'hegemony' as it relates to the Gorn on Star Trek. 

hemoglobin -- to do with blood

Correct. Though more specifically it's a "red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertebrates."

homogeneous -- Being of uniform flavour or appearance. 


hubris -- arrogance


hypotenuse -- the side opposite a 90º angle in a triangle.


impeach -- kick an American president to the curb. More accurately, the process of removing from office an elected official who behaves in an immoral and/or illegal way. 

CORRECT! By the way, I checked and it is NOT possible to impeach Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

incognito -- disguised


incontrovertible -- something that can not be refuted


inculcate -- brainwash. As in, I am inculcating my children in the ways of Star Trek.


infrastructure -- backbone of a society or organization.


interpolate -- educated guess


irony -- "It's when the actual meaning is the complete opposite from the literal meaning." Thank you, Troy Dyer for teaching me this term. 


jejune -- I learned this one on Frasier, from the episode with Zooey DesChannel. I will use it in a sentence: Zooey Deschannel is jejune, because she is dull and juvenile.

CORRECT! In terms of using the word correctly but also in accurately analyzing Zooey and her milquetoast ways.

kinetic -- relating to movement

kowtow -- When I become Supreme Ruler of the Earth you will kowtow to me and do my bidding.

laissez faire -- hands off. As relating to systems, movements or events not body parts.

lexicon -- vocabulary

loquacious -- wordy, in manner of Rex Murphy

And speaking of wordy: I'm going to end this post here, and carry on with the next 50 tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I know someone whose last name is Kowtow and I think that's sort of neat.