The Webster Report


The English language is a vast and intimidating animal. Whenever I read, I always find words I have never heard of, words I recognize but don’t really know what they mean, and words that I want to double check their meaning. The Webster Report is a once a month mini project brings these words off the shelf of “I ought to look that up” and into your vocabulary toolbox. I hope to glean words from my reading friends as well, so send me your words!

There will be three categories : Obscure Words, Vague Words, and Inconceivable! Words (words that don’t mean what you think they mean). All definitions will come from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.  This month’s report is on words of obscurity.

 vol 1. Obscure | August  19, 2017

#1. Jejune

(je·june | \ji-ˈjün) adjective. devoid of significance or interest :  dull

#2. Wiseacre

(wise·acre |  \ˈwīz-ˌā-kər) noun. one who pretends to knowledge or cleverness; especially : smart alek

#3. Perihelion

(peri·he·lion |  \ˌper-ə-ˈhēl-yən) noun.  the point nearest to the sun in the path of an orbiting celestial body (such as a planet)

#4: Oeuvre

(oeu·vre | \ˈu̇-vrə, ˈə(r)-, ˈœ-) noun. a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or a composer 

#5: Welter

(wel·ter | \ˈwel-tər) verb. writhe, toss : also : wallow

#6: Verdigris

(ver·di·gris |  \ˈvər-də-ˌgrēs, -ˌgris, -grəs also -ˌgrē) noun. a green or greenish-blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper and consisting of one or more basic copper acetates

#7: Energumen

(en·er·gu·men | \ˌenə(r)ˈgyümə̇n) noun. a person possessed by or as if by an evil spirit : demoniac 

#8: Declivity

(de·cliv·i·ty | -tē) noun. downward inclination

#9: Fey

(\ˈfā) adjective. used chiefly in Scotland. marked by an otherworldly air or attitude

#10: Ineluctable

(in·eluc·ta·ble | \ˌi-ni-ˈlək-tə-bəl) adjective. not to be avoided, changed, or resisted : inevitable


ps. Did you already know any of these words? If so, which ones? Have any words you want to nominate for future Webster Reports? Email me and I’ll put them on the list and cite you as the reader who found them.




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