21 June 2017

Some very interesting and uncommon words…

Came across some interesting words. How many of these do you know?

1. I have a friend – Narayan Venkatasubramanyan – who was once invited to create one of those Sunday New York Times crosswords. I am sure you know a lot of people who are very good at solving them. Maybe you are one of them. What is the English word for somebody who is adept at creating or solving crossword puzzles?

2. You have heard of being addicted to alcohol, to smoking and all that. Did you know that you can get addicted to tea? In fact there is an English word which means somebody who is addicted to drinking tea. Do you know what that word is?

3. You must have seen that when people sign their signature, usually they put in a flourish at the end – a long line, a curved design, two dots and what have you. Earlier, it was put in to prevent forgery by putting some uniqueness in the signature. What is the English word that means that flourish you put at the end of a signature?

4. There is a single English word that means a striptease performer. What is it?

5. I need to research more to find out why it is so but there is an English word to describe all books printed before the year 1501. (Very early stages of printing). Have you heard of that word?



Posted June 21, 2017 by Rajib Roy in category "Word Play

26 COMMENTS :

  1. By Ram Narayanan on

    To whom it may concern: i am the one amongst RR’s friends who does not know the answer to any of above questions. This is a notarized fact.

    Reply
  2. By Suzanne McBride on

    I don’t know the answer to any of your vocabulary questions. But as a person who knows how to pronounce Narayan Venkatasubramanyan”s name properly, I am impressed to learn about the New York Times crossword authorship!

    Reply
    1. By Jack Mahaffey on

      Narayan, I think I’ve seen you comment once or twice on Rex Parker’s blog. I didn’t know you were a constructor. Congrats (and please post a link if possible to one or more of your puzzles)!

      Reply
    2. By Anand Iyer on

      Narayan Venkatasubramanyan , I heard the phrase “stripping poles” in the midst of an otherwise polite conversation.

      Reply
  3. By Rajib Roy on

    It was interesting how Sreerupa googled up all the questions except the pole dancer one – which is the only one her husband Sanjib googled up πŸ™‚

    Reply
  4. By Rajib Roy on

    The answers, therefore, are:
    1. Cruciverbalist (think cruci as cross like crucifixion)
    2. Theic (slightly different spelling than what Sreerupa had)
    3. Paraph (I just loved this word)
    4. Ecdysiast (I think this word has a Greek root)
    5. Incunabula (still don’t know why)

    Reply
    1. By Narayan Venkatasubramanyan on

      Ecdysiast was coined pretty recently, about 75 years ago. I suspect it was intended as a clever joke whose author, HL Mencken, would be shocked to learn that it outlived him. Do we really need another word for stripper?

      Reply
  5. By rajibroy (Post author) on

    The answers, therefore, are:
    1. Cruciverbalist (think cruci as cross like crucifixion)
    2. Theic (slightly different spelling than what Sreerupa had)
    3. Paraph (I just loved this word)
    4. Ecdysiast (I think this word has a Greek root)
    5. Incunabula (still don’t know why)

    Reply

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