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Words I’ve learnt from books

Words I’ve learnt from books

How often do you read words that you don’t recognise? Maybe you can tell what they mean, but you’ve never seen them before? Or you do recognise them, but can’t remember their meaning?

This used to happen to me a lot, and recently I’ve spotted a few fancy words that I’d like to share with you – including how to pronounce them, as that can also be an issue even if it’s just in your head!

  1. gratuitous [grat-iu-it-ous; ɡrəˈtʃuː.ɪ.təs]
    • a disapproving way to describe something unnecessary or without cause
    • The story was full of gratuitous violence.
  2. perspicacity [perspi-ka-sity; pɜː.spɪˈkæs.ə.ti]
    • the ability to understand things quickly and make accurate judgements
    • The woman’s perspicacity was exceptional.
  3. septuagenarian [sep-tuagen-air-ian; sep.tʃu.ə.dʒɪˈneə.ri.ən]
    • somebody who is between 70 and 79 years old
    • This questionnaire is aimed at septuagenarians.
  4. quibbleable [quibbl-abl]
    • Is it a real word? I did read it in a book, but could only find “to quibble” in various dictionaries: to argue about or disapprove of something that is not important in the long run. So “quibbleable” must mean something like “worthy of quibbling over” … or “can be quibbled over”? Let me know if you have a good definition!


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