Mendicant

Noun

A beggar.

“The mendicant needed shoes, 500 miles from Biloxi.”

Also used as an adjective: “High Street gets a lot of mendicant vagabonds in the summer.”

Note: Mendicant is often used to connote a sense of wandering and comes most directly from the Latin word for beggar. However, in the 14th century the word picked-up an association with religious groups that depended on alms, so that mendicant is acceptably applied to religious or spiritual devotees.

“The Bibles were common among mendicant Franciscans of the time who took vows of poverty and renounced all worldly possessions.” –from APNews.com

Febrile

Adjective

Having the symptoms of fever.

“He was wracked with febrile sweats most of the week.”

But fever, central to the definition of febrile, can also mean agitated and excited (Saturday Night Fever ain’t about the flu). This secondary definition of fever has informed our usage of febrile, making it acceptable to say:

“His frustration became a febrile anger.”

“The febrile crowd became a mob when they heard Ozzy wouldn’t be appearing.”

Abrogate

Verb, transitive

Ending something (usually a law) by official decree, law, or authority:

“The Republican-controlled Congress was unable to abrogate much of the ACA.”

Also, effectively ending something by ignoring it:

“Ever the optimist, Gerry thought he could abrogate the restraining order.”


Demure

Adjective

Quiet and polite because you are shy. Also applies to clothing.

“I was more demure than a bonnet on Sunday morning.”

Note: usually applied to women, as in, 1950s females who’ve yet to sink their apathy in vodka. As in, “She was demure around the office, staying at her desk and smiling nicely whenever one of the men walked by.”

Though, it isn’t only applied to females:

“Trump’s demure wool attire with a cinched waist came from the age-old Parisian fashion house Christian Dior and riffed on its signature Bar Jacket.” —from APNews.com

Male or female, just don’t confuse demure with demur.

Excrescence

Noun

An abnormal growth.

“He tried to hide his bulbous excrescence with a fake mustache. It looked just okay.”

An excrescence is also an unwanted, superfluous addition, development, add-on, etc. As in: “Tyler is an excrescence. I’m not sure why they brought him along.”

Or: “The developers built several excrescent office buildings in Boston’s historic Beacon Hill.”

Expostulate

Verb, intransitive

To fervently reason in opposition to an idea, action, etc.

“He didn’t stop expostulating the whole way there. Like, how many reasons could a ten-year-old have for not going to a birthday party?”

(Note: Expostulate is mostly used as an intransitive verb, but the transitive use is still valid, eg, “The defense attorney expostulated the idea that her client would ever set the Robinsons’ car on fire.”)

Noun, expostulation

Gourmand

Noun

Connoisseur who eats and drinks excessively, similar to a glutton but with more self-control. They just really like getting their taste buds rubbed.

(Note: Gormand is an acceptable variation, preferred by anyone trying to avoid an aristocratic tone.)

“I stopped inviting Pumblechook to dinner because, well, he’s a gormand and watching him chase his tenderloin with heaped spoons of creamed corn is just, disgusting.”

(Note: Collins and Merriam-Webster note that “glutton” is an obsolete definition of gormand, which is supposed to have less of a negative connotation. Oxford and American Heritage only mention that a gormand “eats too much”. So while probably not gluttonous, a gormand is going to eat until they’re stuffed, and then maybe smoke a clove cigarette before ordering the tiramisu.)

Gormandize

“You wouldn’t want to share a table or a bed with him. He makes love the same way he gormandizes.”

Gormandize can also be used as an intransitive verb, so, yes, you can gormandize the shit out of your cheesy meatloaf.