Tag Archives: Dictionary

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 Robinson’s 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.

Propitiate

Transitive Verb

Win someone’s goodwill or favor.

“A great political stump-speech propitiates the voter base —more wall, anyone?”

“He tried to propitiate the judge but it backfired.

I found it easy to misuse Propitiate, so it’s worth mentioning the other forms of the word that are more fun:

Noun: “The way he hangs around her is an obvious propitiation: She’s way out of his league.”

“My professor is easily propitiated by short skirts in the front row.”
— Those short skirts are propitiations, while the professor is propitiable, and the girls wearing the skirts are propitiators.

Sagacious

Adjective

Having shrewd judgement, keen discernment, etc. Applying some wisdom or foresight.

“A sagacious kid who decides not to accept the partially melted candy bar because the guy reeks of booze.”

(Note: The word’s obsolete definition focuses on perception of senses, as in, “his sagacious nose determines when he does and does not enter the men’s room.”)