Word List of Tricky English Words
Tricky English words like pulveratricious, hegemony and floccinaucinihilipilification…
Believing in or based on the principle that everyone is equal and deserves equal rights and opportunities.
“a fairer, more egalitarian society”
Speak or act in an evasive way
“He seemed to prevaricate when journalists asked pointed questions.”
“They prevaricate around the bush using this language.”
Outstandingly bad; shocking; (archaic) remarkably good
“Sometimes a really bad speller will have made so many errors, or such egregious errors, that the reader has a problem reading what was written.”
Sign or give formal consent to a treaty, contract, or agreement, making it officially valid
Both countries were due to ratify the treaty by the end of the year.
“They could ratify the Rome Statute that governs the ICC and invite the ICC to investigate war crimes on its territory.”
proclivity / proclivities
A tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition towards a particular thing
A person of integrity and honor.
“I’m glad your landlord is a mensch.”
Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value
“Should we call this a boondoggle?”
A rounded mass of mineral matter occurring in sandstone, clay, etc…
“They also think the concretions (spherical bumps distributed across rock face) were formed in the presence of water.”
Sternness or severity of manner or attitude
“The Greek public cannot endure much more austerity and the German public cannot endure any more bailouts.”
Leadership or dominance, esp. by one country or social group over others.
“The cultural hegemony of English in the world vs. simple linguistic diversity…”
“Germany was united under Prussian hegemony after 1871.”
A room used for communal meals, esp. in an educational or religious institution.
“Students use their new card to purchase drinks at the Refectory“
The use of cavitation effects to create a large bubble of gas inside a liquid, allowing an object to travel at great speed through the liquid by being wholly enveloped by the bubble.
It’s powered by high-performance jet engines and has “supercavitating technology,” which refers to the use of air bubbles to reduce hull friction to enable faster, more efficient cruising.
The plebeians were the lower class. Nicknamed “plebs”, the plebeians included everyone in ancient Rome (except for the nobility, the patricians) from well-to-do tradesmen all the way down to the very poor.
My plebeian concern is that I hate the grip on the right hand side of the camera and I hate that there is no built-in flash.
“As a personal finance columnist for Vogue magazine in the early 1970s, I couldn’t write about plebeian things like buying your first home.” (Scott Burns, December 10th, 2016)
Deceit used in order to achieve one’s goal
A resultant gap forms in the beam, which leaves a small window for subterfuge.
Extremely complex and difficult to follow
X10 EXR is a convoluted mess.
A person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project
There are a lot of proponents of this theory.
Dairy legislation criticized, proponents push back
publicly recommend or support
・The children’s rights advocate says the labor pact will not stop illegal child labor. : その子どもの人権擁護団体は、その労働協定では子どもの不法労働を阻止できないだろうと言っている。
Like a hedgehog
Loudness and clarity of voice
To testify under oath
A trinket or knick-knack
Estimation that something is valueless. Proper pronunciation based on Latin roots: flockə-nowsə-nəkələ-pələ-fək-ation.
Pertaining to idle talk
An attempt at a scientific study into the nature of romantic love.
Pertaining to midnight
A dumpster diver – one who extracts valuable things from trash
A person who deals with things lacking importance (pronounce the ‘h’ like a ‘k’).
The day before yesterday
Deception or trickery
A weak or foolish person
Covered with dust
A social climber
Rude or rough play
Unfamiliar, rare, strange, marvelous, wonderful. For example: The List Universe is such a selcouth website!
To be poisoned by cheese
Someone who deserves to be hanged
This word originated from the northern English and Scottish word widdy or widdie, local forms of the standard English withy. Meaning a flexible branch from a tree such as willow used to make baskets, and to tie or fasten things together.
Zabernism is a noun meaning to abuse/misuse military power or authority. It was a form of bullying (from the German name for Saverne, a town in Alsace). It originated from an incident in 1912 involving a soldier who killed a cobbler for smiling at him.