Lex-arcana

OK, logophiles: below the fold is a list of the words that, according to this item at Slate, David Foster Wallace had circled in his dictionary. (I would link each word to its definition, but it would take me hours, and I can’t be bothered. Looking them up should help you pass these long evenings in the hibernaculum.)

Ablative absolute
Ablaut
Abulia
Acephalous
ACTH
Adit
Adumbrate
Agrapha
Ailanthus
Aleatory
Alfresco
Algolagnia
Alpestrine
Ament
Anecdotage
Androsterone
Anemone fish
Anneal
Antiphon
Antipode
Apathetic
Apercu
aphagia
Aphotic
Apocarpous
Appoggiatura
Aquavit
Arc-boutant
Archimedean screw
Archine
Arcuate
Argon
Armamentarium
Arrière-ban
Arris
Ascites
Asco-
Aspheric
Astrolabe
Athabasca/Athabaska
Atony
Auscultate
Autolysis
Azygous
BAL
Banderole/banderol
Banquette
Bathyscaph
Benthos
Bespoke
Bialy
Bibulous
Bisque
Bonded warehouse
Bregma
Cachexia
Cachinnate
Cairngorm
Caisson
Calenture
Caliposis
Caparison
Carbinol
Carpophagous
Cartouche/cartouch
Cassis
Catachresis
castellated
Catarrhine
Catastasis
Cecum
Cete
Chalcedony
chatelain
Chatoyant
Chthonic
Citronella
Clastic
Clavate
Climbing irons
Clinometer
Clinquant
Cobnut
Coir
Collective bargaining
Conchoidal
Condonation
Confluence
Contredanse
Corporation
corvée
corvine
coryphaeus
couvad
coxcomb
crasis
cunctation
curettage
deadeye
debouch
decalcomania
decrepitate
deforce
delectation
delft
deliration
delitescence
demotic
demulcent
deracinate
descant
desiderate
desinence
desuetude
diadem
dicast
digitate
dihedral
diopter
dioptometer
dioptric
dioptrics
diriment
dissimulate
distichous
divaricate
domino
double-tongue
durbar
edema
ejecta
Elaine
elan
emulous
entrepôt
enucleate
eparchy
epopee
eruct
eructation
esker
espadrille
espalier
estovers
esurient
etiolate
euhemerism
exergue
facial index
fastigiate
fauces
fazenda
feculent
fibroin
fictile
fiduciary
fisc
flagitious
flense
flitch
fluvial
foamflower
folium
forensic
fornication
fossorial
fourfold
fraktur
fraxinella
fulgurant
gallimaufry
gallinaceous
garniture
gavage
gerent
girasol
glans penis
Glengarry
glycine
gnosis
gnostic
Gnosticism
graminivorous
gravid
guttate
hagiarchy
haik
Havelock
Heliogabalus
hematuria
heterodox
heterogeneous
heteroplasty
horripilation
hyperopia
hyperplasia
hypnagogic
hypocaust
hypocorism
iatric
illation
imbricate
imperforate
inanition
indene
indurate
inextirpable
internecine
intinction
intussuscept
invidious
kakemono
kala-azar
Kallikaks
karabiner
kohl
laciniate
lamia
landau
legatee
leptosome
litotes
logical positivism
longeron
lordosis
lucubrate
lugubrious
luxate
macaronic
mage
Mahabharata
maieutic
mammillate
mansuetude
mantic
mantua
manumit
marcescent
mare clausum
massif
mavourneen
mazurka
meatus
meninx
mercer
meretricious
meristem
mesomorph
metacenter
metagenesis
misericord
misogamy
misology
misoneism
mitzvah
moiré
moke
Molly Maguire
molybdenum
monel metal
monitory
monody
monoplegia
morganatic
motile
mucronate
multipara
mures
murra
nacelle
nappe
narghile
nekton
neroli
névé
nevus
nictitating membrane
niddering
nigrosine
obsequy
ocarina
officinal
omasum
ombudsman
ommatophore
onyx
opalescence
ophidian
ornithosis
orology
orpine
orrery
ort
orthochromatic
orthoepy
orthogonal
oscitancy
Osiris
osmic
osmium
osteophyte
oviform
ovine
paillette
parotitis
parturient
parvenu
peccant
pedalfer
pedicel
pelf
pellicle
penumbra
peplum
pepo
perdition
perfidy
pergola
periodontics
periotic
peripeteia
periphrasis
periphrastic
peripteral
permittivity
pertussis
petroglyph
petrolatum
phlox
photogravure
phylactery
piaffer
pilose
pinchbeck
pinnate
planation
pleach
pleasance
pleonasm
plethoric
plication
plimsoll
plissé
polder
pons asinorum
pons varolii
poplar
portcullis
prebend
preferment
premonition
preterition
pronate
pronephros
proptosis
prosopopeia
puerperal fever
quinate
quondam
raga
ramulose
realgar
rebarbative
rebec
rebus
recrudesce
recruit
rectus
recurvate
recusant
red lead
relaxin
relict
reliction
remarque
replevin
réseau/reseau
rete
revetment
rogation
ruth
salient
saliferous
saprophagous
sarcastic
sarcoptic mange
sassafras
sateen
saturnalia
saturnine
scabrous
scarious
scholium
seborrhea
sedilia
sepsis
serous
shako
shinplaster
sibilate
sibyl
siphonophore
skirl
slime mold
sociometry
socle
Sogdian
soke
solander
sordino
soubrette
spavin
splendent
spline
sprachgefühl
Stabat Mater
stative
stato–
steatopygia
steatorrhea
stipule
stochastic
stoup
strickle
stridulate
suborn
succussion
sudd
sudorific
suint
sumptuary
supernatant
surcingle
sylph
sylphid
symposiarch
syntax
sypher
tabanid
tabes
tabla
taiga
talapoin
talion
tanist
Tantalus
tartuffe
telium
tenesmus
tennis
tepefy
tercel
tertium quid
tetrastichous
thigmotaxis
thymus
timbale
tontine
tr.
trabeated
traduce
traducianism
trepan
trephine
trews
tropophyte
tympanites
Tyr
tyro
urticant
urticate
urushiol
uxorial
uxoricide
uxorious
valgus
vang
varletry
varve
veloce
venule
vernier caliper
versant
versicolor
vinculum
virilism
vitelline
vivandière
viva voce
viviparous
volant
volar
votary
witenagemot

6 Comments

  1. JK says

    Hopefully I’ll not be risking opprobrium if only because I see Mr. Foster Wallace hasn’t included ‘Clicktivist’ among perhaps, others.

    If anyone supposes to ask “Just what JK, are you doing hanging about that place?” I’d only reply “Well note the fourth comment’s author?” Blame him – he posted the site immediately below Malcolm’s on the D&N sidebar:

    https://godammit.com/the-passion-of-the-wordist/

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  2. “It was down in Louisiana, just about a mile from Lex-Arcana, in them old cotton fields back home”

    [Apologies to Leadbelly and CCR.]

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Alan! Long time no see.

    And yes, that was the reference.

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  4. Glad to know I wasn’t threadjacking. Or maybe I was but it’s an approved threadjack.

    Since I’ve got you on the line I must congratulate you on your blog, by whichever name. Always a worthwhile read.

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Thank you Alan! The same to you, sir.

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Sidebar Alan, Malcolm;

    Where, if either of you’d pay acknowledgment to the more than adequate, old saying;

    Shittin’ in tall cotton.

    Posted February 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

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