Among other projects, I'm working on a story called Dictionary, Unillustrated which (as the title suggests) features a dictionary as a central motif. In writing it I've reignited my interest in unusual words so I thought I'd share some with you.
If you're one of those people who likes to 'test their knowledge', go ahead and crow about knowing all these words - I didn't!
Palaver: Prolonged and idle discussion
Shyster: Slang for someone disreputable or unethical, especially in law or politics
Celerity: Swiftness of action or motion
Peccadillo: Small, relatively unimportant offense or sin
Scuttlebutt: Gossip. Scuttlebutt was the tap on a ship, so it's like the old-school water cooler conversation!
Galling: Causing extreme irritation or chagrin
Parsimony: Preciousness with money
Those are all words I've read recently but couldn't supply with an exact definition. It came as a shock to realize just how often I take meaning from a sentence without actually knowing all the words!