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The Most Unique, Unusual, & Uncommon Words

Dec 25th, 2021LanguageEnglish

The English language has a wealth of surprises, even for native speakers and long-time students of the language. Here is a collection of the words which I find the most unique, useful, or simply surprising.

Octothorpe
The number (#) sign
Petrichor
The earthy scent when rain falls on dry soil
Obelus
The division (÷) sign
Defenestration
Throwing someone out of a window
Apricate
To bask in the sun
Solipsist
Someone who is self-centered
Dactylioglyph
Someone who engraves precious metal or gemstone jewelry
Discombobulate
To confuse someone
Jentacular
Things relating to breakfast
Dragoon
To compel or coerce by (military) force
Quire
Two dozen sheets of paper
Gossamer
A thin film of cobweb blown around and caught on plants
Reverie
Daydreaming
Paladin
An enthusiastic supporter of a cause
Psithurism
The sound of rustling leaves
Ambry
A small niche for keeping/storing things
Conclave
A secret (closed) meeting
Faggot
A bundle of sticks
Sylvan
related to or characteristic of forests or woods

I'll expand the list as I come across other rare and unusual words. Is there a word that you think should be on this list? Let me know.