Are You In Love With Words?

Are you in love with words? Most writers I know are. Many readers are. So for this month’s fun quiz, let’s test our word knowledge. How many do you know?

You’re on your honor—answer to the best of your knowledge. Scroll down the page to find the answers. Don’t cheat and look the answer up.  

Image of the word dictionary in a dictionary--Are you in love with words? Take this quiz on

Quiz Questions

  1. A manzanilla is what? 
  2. What is entomophobia? 
  3. An arctophile collects what? 
  4. What do philatelists collect?  
  5. An irrational fear of trees is called?
  6. What is the blob of toothpaste on your toothbrush called? 
  7. How long is a zeptosecond? 
  8. What are fulgurites? 
  9. Do you know what mondegreen means?
  10. What is Tenebrescence?

Bonus Questions

Three of eight 2019 Spelling Bee Champions spelled these words correctly. Do you know what they mean?

  1. Auslaut is the word for what sound?
  2. Pendeloque describes what?
  3. What is an aiguillette?


  1. A manzanilla is what? A light sherry.
  2. What is entomophobia? An irrational fear of insects.
  3. An arctophile collects what? Teddy Bears
  4. What do philatelists collect?  Stamps
  5. The word for an irrational fear of trees is? Dendrophobia.
  6. What is the blob of toothpaste on your toothbrush called? Nurdle
  7. How long is a zeptosecond? A trillionth of a billionth of a second. Read more:
  8. What are Fulgurites? Fulgurites (from the Latin fulgur meaning thunderbolt) are a variety of the mineraloid lechatelierite. They are natural hollow glass tubes formed in quartzose sand, silica, or soil by lightning strikes. They form when lightning with a temperature of at least 1,800 °C (3,270 °F) instantaneously melts silica on a conductive surface and fuses grains together; the fulgurite tube is the cooled product. This process occurs over a period of around one second, and leaves evidence of the lightning path and its dispersion over the surface. They are also called petrified lightning. . Read more here.
  9. Do you know what mondegreen means? A mondegreen is a word or phrase that results from misheard language or a made-up lyric or line that replaces as song’s real words.
  10. What is Tenebrescence? Tenebrescence, also known as reversible photochromism, is the ability of minerals to change color when exposed to light.  Thanks to this reddit entry for introducing me to this word.

Definitions for Bonus Words

  1. Auslaut is the word for what sound? Auslaut is the final sound in a word or syllable : end position of a sound in a word or syllable
  2. Pendeloque describes what? A Pendeloque is a pear-shaped modification of the round brilliant cut used for diamonds and other gemstones.
  3. What is an aiguillette? Designated military aides wear an aiguillette which is a shoulder cord.

Are you in love with words?

I love to participate in quizzes on the meaning of words. But they always stump me . I knew none of these words before I “collected” them. Did you know any of these?

If you enjoyed this quiz, you might enjoy last month’s quiz: Are You A Bad-Ass Reader?

Are you in love with words? Do you collect them? Or am I the only weird word warrior in this crowd?

To All Name Callers: Improve Your Insults (AKA Words Are Fun)

I’m tired of all the school grounds name calling that is done in the name of “discussing” politics and speaking up to protect us. Name calling is an attempt to bully or diminish someone with demeaning language. It is the least effect means of “discussion.” So I’ve decided to issue a challenge to all name callers: improve your insults. And because it’s unlikely the name callers will do research in order to improve their insults, I’m providing you with a choice of words.

(In case you don’t get it—I’m not really asking you to improve your insults. I’d rather you don’t insult anyone. I provide this list because I love words and these are fun to say.)

Words to Improve Your Insults

Acerbate—a bitter person

Bedswerver—An adulterer

Billingsgate—coarse or abusive language

Bloviate—people who talk for a long time or who inflate their story to make themselves sound better

Bumfuzzle—confused, perplexed, flustered

Cacafuego—Swaggering braggart or boaster

Contumelious — insolent; rude and sarcastic; contemptuous

Dingus: A person regarded as stupid

Discombobulated—Very confused and disorganized 

Drate-Poke—One who drawls or speaks indistinctly.

Flibbertigibbet—a silly person who talks incessantly

Fopdoodle—Insignificant or foolish man

Gardyloo—a warning shouted before slop bucket is dumped out the window

Gobermouch—Prying person who likes to interfere in other folks’ business.

Ill-willy—having an unfriendly disposition

Klazomaniac—Someone who only seems able to speak by shouting. 

Malarkey—words that are insincere or foolish

Molly coddle—A man or boy used to being coddled; to pamper.

Namby-pamby—Weak, insipid, indecisive; a feeble person.

Niggle—To be preoccupied with trifles or petty details; to cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety; to find fault constantly and trivially.

Nincompoop—a foolish or stupid person

Piffle—Nonsense. To talk or act feebly or futilely.

Popinjay—A vain, talkative person.

Scalawag—A reprobate; a rascal.

Sesquipedalian— a person who uses long words.

Skelpie-limmer—A badly-behaved child.

Snollygoster—a politician who does or says things for their own personal advancement

Taradiddle—a pretentious lie

You can look up any of the above words at Merriam-Webster Dictionary online. For more fun with words you can learn the oxymoron song.

Did you learn a new word or two today? My favorite new word is “snollygoster.” It’s fun to say.

It’s my sincere hope that this was a fun read and that none of these words, or others, will be used to insult any real person. (It might be fun to use a few in one of my stories.) What about you? Did this list help you improve your insults? What fun or unusual words have you heard?

Fun with Words

Weekends are often devilishly devine. We have wickedly good fun, clean dirt from our homes, watch friendly competitors, and otherwise turn ourselves inside out trying to do more, be more, have more. Then comes Monday. Monday is the antithesis of the weekend. So today, let’s have fun with words or rather, phrases that pair two words that are the antithesis of each other. That’s right. We’re talking oxymorons. Rather, Dave and Randy are singing oxymorons. Have a listen.

The Oxymoron Song

There are countless numbers of oxymorons. How many did you identify in the song? How many in this post?

In my unbiased opinion, the singers weren’t awfully good but the song was seriously funny. This wasn’t my only choice, but by a minor miracle I chose it. I was clearly confused.

Please don’t be passive aggressive or noticeably absent, leave a comment below. Dave and Randy and I didn’t include all the oxymorons out there. Here’s a list of common ones to help you think about others you may know.

Let’s have more fun with words. What’s your favorite oxymoron?

Whoopensocker Words

I am up to my elbows in elephants and alligators. In other words, I’m in the middle of several large projects. Large projects with lots of words, whoopensocker words.

I am up to my elbows in elephants and alligators. In other words, I'm in the middle of several large projects. Large projects with lots of words, whoopensocker words.
Elephants by Siddharth Pendharkar via Flickr commons


Words and phrases are fascinating, aren’t they? When you add in regional influences, phases that may be familiar to you confuse someone new to your area.

The word potluck can be covered dish supper, or a pitch in depending upon where you are in the United States.  In Canada it’s a washroom, not a restroom or a bathroom. It’s a loo in England. Coffee in South America is expresso in the U.S.

Interested in learning more quirky words?  The Regional Dialect Challenge is a meme that has been floating around on the internet for a few years. People who participated in the challenge recorded themselves reading a list of words and answering several questions. Go to Youtube and search for Regional Dialect to get a list of videos done all over the world.  If you have time for only one, check out this young man from South Wales:

Folks in Wisconsin use Whoopensocker. It means something that is wonderfully unique. Check out to learn more about whoopensocker and other fun regional American words.

I love the sound of whoopensocker, don’t you?  And I love to hear from you.  What is your favorite whoopensocker word, or regional phrase or word that you use or have heard?