17 unconventional words to describe people

Are you a logophile? If so, use these less common terms the next time you refer to a friend, client or co-worker.

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In the words of author Philip Pullman: “People are too complicated to have simple labels.”

We are all guilty of superficially labeling people. We like to take shortcuts, make assumptions, classify and categorize.

English is full of words that capture the depth and breadth of the people in our lives. Below are 17 such words. How many do you recognize?

1. Ailurophile: A person who loves cats.

My mom prefers “ailurophile” to “crazy cat lady.”

2. Bel-esprit: A person of great wit or intellect.

My favorite bel-esprit is John Oliver.

3. Cognoscente: A person with specialized knowledge; a connoisseur.

Alex is a cognoscente of cognac and armagnac.

4. Confrere: A colleague, associate or fellow member.

My confreres and I are interested in the latest changes to the AP Stylebook.

5. Convive: An eating or drinking companion.

My convive for this evening will be Jake from accounting.

6. Coxcomb: A foolish or conceited person.

Coxcombs abound in the 2016 presidential election campaign.

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