17 words for vocabulary enthusiasts

An average college-educated adult’s vocabulary contains only a portion of the words contained within the English language. How many of these terms do you know?

There are an estimated 750,000 words in the English language —but the average college-educated American has a vocabulary of up to 80,000 words.

That leaves hundreds of thousands of undiscovered words.

Let’s explore words about language and writing. How many of these do you know?

Definitions are from Dictionary.com, Urban Dictionary, Wikitionary and Oxford Dictionaries:

1. Cheville: an unnecessary word used to complete a verse.

2. Cledonism: avoidance of words thought to be unlucky.

3. Epeolatry: the worship of words.

4. Hadeharia: constant use of the word “hell.”

5. Hapax: a word that occurs only once in a given text.

6. Hypernym: a word representing a class of words or things (color is a hypernym of green).

7. Largiloquent: talkative.

8. Lethologica: the inability to remember a word.

9. Loganamnosis: obsession that occurs when trying to recall forgotten words.

10. Logogogue: a word expert.

11. Logogriph: a riddle in which a word is found from the letters of other words.

12. Onomatomania: a desire or compulsion to use certain words.

13. Onomatophobia: the fear or dread of certain words or names.

14. Pauciloquent: of few words; speaking little.

15. Trionym: a name consisting of three words.

16. Verbile: a person whose mental imagery consists of words.

17. Wordbound: inability to find expression in words; constrained or limited by words.

What favorite terms would you add to the list, Ragan readers?

Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor and a regular contributor to Ragan.com and PR Daily. Read more of her work at impertinentremarks.com.

This article first appeared on Ragan.com in Feb. 2016.


Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.