Definition: Pleasure felt or derived at another person's misfortune. I always experience schadenfreude when I see a bad (or otherwise incompetent) politician be interviewed by a good (i.e. scathing) journalist.
Definition: Basaltic lava forming very rough jagged masses with a light and frothy texture. This word originated in Hawaii and is the first entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. A'a looks like this: It is probably also what you'd say if you saw the above coming towards you.
Definition: The doctrine that everything tends towards an ultimate good According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the difference between agathism and optimism is that optimism sees the good in everything that happens. Agathism recognises that bad things happen—but these things are ultimately for the best. What exactly is the difference? Not sure—but I imagine it's [...]
Definition: Unintentionally using a word or phrase that means something different to what you mean to say One example is saying 'literally' when you really mean 'figuratively'. However, heterophemy can strike anyone at any time—no one is the suppository of all wisdom. Yes, literally as well as figuratively.
Definition: The warmth of the winter sun. A related word is 'apricate' meaning to bask in the sun. This got me thinking about apricots—because they look a bit like a sun, if you hold one at arm's length and squint. And they are tasty when you bake them into warm cookies. However, the word 'apricot' [...]
Definition: An awkward situation or affair So, I was born in Australia but I look a bit Indian. People on buses in Sydney think I can't speak English. So do shopkeepers in Kolkata. Slight kankedorts ensue when they all realise I can. I'd be in a bit of trouble if I couldn't. Semaphore is hard.
Definition: An urge to do something inadvisable. Audrey was walking down the highway when she espied a grasshopper-infested cornfield. It was the meaning of life. She was a chicken, you see, and her mother had always told her never to eat grasshoppers. Seized by a fit of cacoethes, she ran across the road and caused [...]
Definition: Fear of bathing My cat has ablutophobia.
Definition: To stretch—like you do after waking. Tiffany had woken at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. After work, she'd gone with her brother to see a rugby game—it was his birthday. The thing was kinda boring. Everyone kept falling over and shouting. So she had a bit of a nap and was awakened [...]
Definition: To silently watch someone eating in the hope they will offer you food. Oh, how I wish the Little Squeak would groak. Instead, he generates decibels and yells 'Cheeeese'.