SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: A six-pack of words that stumped me.


Around the time this column began, I signed up for “Word of the Day” from the Free Dictionary. You can, too.

These informative daily e-mails offer more than just words; there are quotes and tidbits from history, too.

Still, the words are the draw for me. Most of the time I know the daily words, but when I don’t I try to set them aside for future reference. Following are six of them.

Definition: (adjective) Marked by separation of or from usually contiguous elements.
Synonyms: isolated
Usage: The islands were like little isolated worlds, as abruptly disjunct and unexpected as a palm-shaded well in the Sahara.

Definition: (adjective) Hanging by a thread.
Synonyms: suspended (note: most dictionary pages don’t list any synonyms … is there a word for this?)
Usage: “A group of filipendulous constructions that evoke Brobdingnagian hornets’ nests.” (The New Yorker; Sep 25, 1989).

Definition: (adjective) Immense; enormous (After Brobdingnag, a country in Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, where everything was enormous).
Synonyms: gargantuan, enormous (“Lilliputian,” also from Swift, is Brobdingnagian’s antonym).
Usage: (see preceding example)

(frō′wərd, -ərd)
Definition: (adjective) Stubbornly contrary and disobedient; obstinate.
Synonyms: headstrong, self-willed, willful
Usage: Her siblings were obedient and well-behaved, but she was froward and stubborn.

Definition: (noun) The quality or condition of being scanty or meager.
Synonyms: leanness, meagerness, poorness, scantiness
Usage: With an exiguity of cloth that would allow only one dress to be made, she selflessly offered that her sister go to the ball in her stead.

Definition: (noun) A satire or lampoon, especially one that ridicules a specific person, traditionally written and posted in a public place.
Synonyms: parody, put-on, sendup, spoof, charade, lampoon, mockery, burlesque, travesty, takeoff
Usage: The corrupt politician was a popular target of the pasquinades that were posted all over the city.