Words that do not mean what you think they mean

Here on Sassan Sanei, The Blog of we run a clean, family-oriented web site. We also realize that we are listed in all the major internets, and that sometimes we use words that you may find inappropriate or offensive. The usual cause of this is a simple misunderstanding between us, the writer, and you, the reader.

For this reason, we are happy to clarify the meaning of certain obscure words for you, so as never to offend your delicate sensibilities -- or those of your impressionable children -- while you cite our serfs.

Anurous: To have no tail
"My cellmate gave me a sly, sideways glance, then turned to reveal his anurous backside."

Assay: Analysis of a sample of material to determine how much gold, silver, or other metal is in it
"That geologist won't help anyone out. He just sits on his assay all day."

Cockapoo: A variety of dog crossbred from a cocker spaniel and a miniature poodle
"Phew! Your cockapoo is stinky, isn't it time for a bath?"

Cunctation: Procrastination or a delay
"You and your cunctation. I want it now!"

Cuneiform: Wedge-shaped, especially as in certain ancient alphabets
"The Sumerians impressed their cuneiform with a stylus onto wet clay tablets, which were then dried or baked."

Farthing: A one-quarter pence coin
"There has not been any farthing in England since 1961."

Fecund: Very productive or creative intellectually
"William Shakespeare was the most fecund playwright of his time."

Felicitate: To congratulate somebody on a happy event
"You could count on her to felicitate you on every special occasion."

Felucca: A two-masted sailing vessel or fishing boat of the Mediterranean
"I'll never forget the amazing felucca from my trip to Spain."

Fucoidal: Containing impressions of fossilized seaweeds
"Goodness me, your sandstone is quite fucoidal!"

Haboob: A desert sandstorm
"Nomads in the Sahara are always on the lookout for haboob."

Idiom: An informal expression or a distinct style of language
"She keeps using these weird expressions, like 'cream of the crop' and 'flower of the flock.' What a blooming idiom!"

Masticate: To chew food
"Please don't masticate so loudly at the dinner table."

Mishit: In tennis or cricket, to hit a ball badly
"I wish those spectators would stop dumping on me for that awful mishit."

Nippy: Chilly or cold
"During my October trip to Vermont, I was thrilled to see a nippy fall."

Oratrix: A type of parrot, native to the Amazonian jungle
"The taxidermist offered to stuff her beautiful oratrix for free."

Organza: A sheer, stiff fabric
"All I had left of her in that blue dress were some happy memories of a mind-blowing organza."

Pensile: Suspended or hanging loosely
"His body parts were becoming more and more pensile with age."

Pervasion: To permeate throughout
"With the widespread availability of broadband connections, the Internet has reached shocking levels of pervasion."

Philately: Stamp collection
"His interest in philately led him to travel the world and meet many interesting people."

Pussley: A weedy, mat-forming herb with bright yellow flowers
"She led me to her secret garden and asked me to touch her soft pussley."

Rebuttal: A reply intended to show fault in an opponent's argument
"That was a handsome rebuttal you offered during the mayoral debate."

Scuttlebutt: In the navy, slang for gossip and rumours
"They were all gathered 'round, chatting excitedly about the neighbourhood scuttlebutt."

Sexagenarian: A person in their sixties
"The sexagenarian could still party like the best of them."

Sextant: An instrument used in astronomy and navigation
"The sextant was made of brass and had a beautiful polished knob."

Shittake: A kind of mushroom
"Does this shiitake smell funny to you?"

Testee: A student who is taking an academic examination
"The testee complained to the proctor that the subject was too hard."

Titivate: To spruce up
"She titivated her old dress with a more revealing neckline."

Vagile: In zoology, an animal or organism having the freedom to move about or disperse itself in its environment
"Female cats and dogs can be quite vagile when they are in heat."

Voyageur: A guide employed by Canadian fur companies to transport supplies between remote stations
"The voyageur would often gaze upon hidden sights of natural beauty."


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