Word of the Day Archive

Here we have a collection of all our past Words of the Day. Peruse at will, and don’t forget to play some of these fun, rare, and score-enhancing words!

CANT – hypocritical talk, especially of a religious or political nature. (16 points)

SPURIOUS – plausible but false. (64 points)

MARTINET – one who believes in strict discipline. (64 points)

PAROCHIAL – narrow minded; concerned with local matters. (81 points)

FLORID – ornate. (36 points)

DALTON – A unit used to measure the molecular weight of proteins. (36 points) 

HALCYON – a peaceful and happy period of time. (49 points)

GRACILE – of slender build. (49 points)

PYKNIC – denoting a stocky build. (36 points)

CROOSLE – a low whimper, like one made by an infant. (36 points)

EPONYM – a person after who a discovery, place, invention etc., is named. (36 points)

ABRA – narrow mountain pass. (16 points)

ATARAXIA – absolute calm and tranquility. (64 points)

ABAFT – in or behind the stern of a ship. (25 points)

PARVENU – a person who has suddenly risen to a higher social class but has not yet been accepted by others in that class. Think “new money”. (49 points)

RANARIUM – a frog farm. (64 points)

QUOIN – an external angle in a wall or building. (25 points)

CAUCUS – this word can be used as a noun or a verb, and is relevant as the 2012 presidential race heats up. As a noun it means a meeting of members of a legislative party to select a candidate. As a verb it means to hold a meeting. (36 points)

GALOOT – clumsy or oafish person. (36 points)

TELOS – an ultimate aim or goal. (25 points)

FUG – a stuffy or odorous emanation like one produced in a small space with little ventilation. (9 points)

ALGID – chilly or cold. I thought this word was fitting on this 10 degree Vermont day. Brrr. (25 points)

REXES – a male sovereign; ruler of a kingdom. (25 points)

PATE – a person’s head. Words like pate are great because they can easily be played on their own, or used to build bigger words. For example, if you could add an ‘n’ and spell paten (a metal plate). Or, you could add a ‘r’ and spell “pater” (a person’s legal father). Or, you could wait for more letters and build “pattern”, “patent”, or “patient”. (16 points)

EYOT – a small island, especially one found in England on the river Themes. (16 points)

SUMPS – a hollow in which liquid is collected. (25 points)

EXULT – to feel elation and jubilation. Happy holidays to the Swamp Talk Community! (25 points)

YCLEPT – by the name of. (36 points)

LETHE – forgetfulness or oblivion. (25 points)

ZIZZ – sparkle. (16 points)

BLARNEY – flattery to gain favor (49 points)

KERRFUFFLE – a commotion. (81 points)

FEN – swampy area (where the swamp talk frog hangs out!). (9 points)

TEETOTALER – one who does not drink any alcoholic beverages. A bit long, but such a great word! Now instead of saying you are the designated driver, you can say that you are a teetotaler for the night. See what the bartender has to say to that! (100 points)

CUNCTATOR – to procrastinate. Thanks very much to Catherine Allen for this one. We love it!  (81 points)

FINNIMBRUM – a trinket or knick-knack. (100 points!–I know its a long word, but it is obscure enough to interest a “wordy” like me!)

NEBULOUS – confused or obscure. (64 points)

ZETETIC – inquiry or investigation. Also a good way to use up those pesky Z’s on 100 Letter Challenge! (49 points)

MIASMA – an unpleasant odor or vapor; an oppressive atmosphere. (36 points)

NELIPOT – one who walks without shoes. (49 points)

HECTOR – to bully someone. (36 points)

MULCT – to swindle. (25 points)

RAUCOUS – harsh (49 points).

DUDDER – to confuse with noise. (36 points)

SCRUM – a rugby play in which members of a rugby team line up opposite one another, meet their opponents shoulder to shoulder, and try to kick the ball backwards to their teammates; a hubbub. Congratulations to New Zealand’s All Blacks on their Rugby World Cup win! (25 points)

MOIETY – a half; one of two. (36 points)

INCURSION – a hostile entrance or invasion; as in Kenya’s recent incursion into Somalia.  (81 points)

QUASAR – a starlike, extragalactic object thought to be the brightest and most distant object in the universe! (36 points)

SUBSIDY – aid given by the government to a private industry or charity organization; a grant of money. (49 points)

ACCIPITRINE – hawk-like. (121 points!!!)

DEBACLE – a sudden downfall or complete failure. (49 points)

JUXTAPOSE – to put side by side for contrasting effect. (81 points)

RONDO a song or composition in which the first part is repeated several times. Not to be confused with Rajon Rondo, the NBA star who plays point guard for the Boston Celtics. (25 pts)

ACHILLEAN – to be invulnerable or invincible; resembling the hero Achilles. (81 pts)

MALIGN – to make harmful or critical statements about; to slander. (36 pts)

KEF – a state of idle drowsiness or dreamy intoxication. (9 pts)

LIMN – to represent or depict in words or drawing. The Nobel-prize winning astronomers used supernovas to limn the expansion of the universe. (16 pts)

SUPERNOVA – an exploding star. Astronomers Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess, the newly-announced Nobel Prize winners in Physics, used supernovas to measure the expansion of the universe. They discovered the expansion of the universe is speeding up. (81 pts)

MOOT – debatable, doubtful, theoretical, or purely academic in nature; an issue of no real import, used in an academic exercise. Swamp talk will accept MOO, too, but why not add a letter and get more points? (16 pts)

HUCK – the short form of huckaback, an absorbent, coarse fabric from which towels are made. (16 pts)

YAFF – to yelp or bark. Seven more points than “off,” if you’re trying to use two Fs. (16 pts)

PLUVIAL – rainy. The Vermont forecast for the next several days. Sigh. On the bright side, a great excuse to stay in and play Swamp Talk! (49 pts)

CARFAX – a junction of four roads. Both FAX and CAR will get you 9 points, but carfax will earn you 36!

OLEO – margarine. Can also be spelled OLIO. Three vowels! (16 pts)

SCRUM – a way of restarting a rugby game after the ball has gone out of play. Players from both teams line up together to form the scrum. Check out the Rugby World Cup to see a scrum in action. (A shortened form of scrummage, which is a variation of scrimmage, a play familiar to fans of American football.) (25 pts)

RAJ – rule or reign. The term usually refers to the British rule of India before its independence in 1947. (9 pts)

DOYENNE – the most elder,  respected, or dominant woman in a particular group or class. Generally used in a complimentary way. (49 pts)

AIKIDO – a Japanese martial art, often used for self-defense. Aikido practitioners redirect the force of an attack rather than opposing it directly. DO –> AIKIDO. (36 pts)

GENIUS – something or someone with exceptional intellect or capacity. The MacArthur Foundation announced its annual “genius awards” yesterday. A poet, an economist, and a psychologist were among the winners. (36 pts)

QUINCE – a small deciduous tree, related to apples and pears, which bears a bright yellow fruit of the same name. Quince jelly is often served with hard cheeses. (36 pts)

REED – the stalk of a tall grass-like wetland plant; a woodwind instrument that uses one or two reeds to produce sound; or Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix and the new Qwikster. In gameplay, can be made from REE, to sift. (16 pts)

ZEE – the American phonetic spelling of the letter Z. The game will also accept ZED, the British phonetic spelling. A great word to get a Z off the line quickly! (9 pts)

GRAZED – past tense of graze, what cattle and sheep do when eating grass in a pasture. This is a useful word because it has what our engineer John calls a “wide build path.” Meaning, it’s easy to move from GAZE or RAZE –> GRAZE –> GRAZED. A great way to use a Z in a higher-scoring word, and the -ed helps meet the suffix objective. (36 pts)

BREY – variant spelling of brei, “a finely and uniformly divided tissue suspension used especially in metabolic experimentation” (thanks to merriam-webster.com for that one!). A brey is often used as a culture for viruses. A word we discovered via a random swipe. (16 pts)

FALCON – a bird of prey; a small cannon used in the 15th-17th centuries; the Atlanta NFL team defeated by the Chicago Bears in the Bears’ home opener yesterday. Da Bears! (36 points)

DAIKON – a variety of radish used in Asian cuisine. Large and white, its flavor is milder than smaller radishes. (36 points)

SUTRAany of the teachings of Buddha (Buddhism); an aphorism relating to how to live life (Hinduism). The word itself derives from Sanskrit. (25 points)

GOBO – a dark screen that prevents glare from reaching a camera lens, or a sound-absorbing screen that keeps unwanted sound away from a microphone. (16 points)

DANDY – something or someone fantastic or first-rate: that’s a dandy idea. In earlier times, a well-dressed man who was very concerned with looking good was known as a dandy. These days, we might call him metro. (25 points)

REBUILDwhat a lot of Vermont’s homes and businesses will have to do after being damaged by floodwaters from Hurricane Irene. Hundreds of homes and businesses will begin to rebuild soon, though some will need to wait until destroyed roads are rebuilt. The “re-” prefix will help toward the prefix objective. (49 points)

QUARK – an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter; a type of soft cheese; when capitalized, a brand of page layout software. A nice way to use Q and K together, and strategically useful as it has a fair number of nearby words like QUICK, QUACK, QUART, and SQUARE, as well as fallback QUA. (25 points)

INFIDEL – a person who is without faith, or who does not subscribe to a particular faith. Members of a certain religion will often regard non-believers as infidels. Uses the prefix in-, if you are working on meeting that objective! (49 points)

AREAL – the adjective form of area. Meteorologists forecast areal floods when a wide area, not just specific bodies of water, are likely to be flooded. Swamp Talk’s home state of Vermont experienced areal floods yesterday. (25 points, and three vowels!)

INLET – a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water. Tropical Storm Irene made landfall near Little Egg Inlet, on the New Jersey coast, early this morning. (25 points)

HARPOON – a long spear with a rope or chain at the end, used in fishing and whaling. The fisher[man] impales the fish with the harpoon, then uses the rope or chain to catch the animal. Harp -> harpoon. (49 points)

PASSEL – a group or quantity of indeterminate size. There can exist a passel of people, problems, questions, or issues. (36 points)

METTLE – courage; strength of spirit. A difficult situation can be said to test a person’s mettle. (36 points)

PYRITE – a mineral composed of an iron sulfide. Because of its visual resemblance to gold, it’s frequently called “fool’s gold.” The discovery of pyrite and other minerals gave Mineral, Virginia–epicenter of yesterday’s earthquake–its name when the town was incorporated in 1902. (36 points)

QUIRT – a short crop or whip used by a horse jockey, cowboy, or other equestrian. If you’ve got QUIT on the line, wait for an R and get 9 more points! (25 points)

REMUDA – a group of horses that travel with cowboys on a cattle drive. The horses that aren’t ridden on any particular day travel in the remuda, resting until they are needed. (36 points)

INTRANSIGENT – inflexible, unwilling to compromise or change. Qaddafi is exhibiting intransigence in Libya, holding onto Tripoli though it appears that rebel forces are overwhelming his own. Good way to get rid of a G with a great mix of other common letters. (144 points)

CACHE – A collection of things of the same type, usually hidden. It is a homophone of cash, which you might have a cache of in a piggy bank or cookie jar. A good word to play if you end up with two C‘s. [ace -> ache -> cache] (25 points)

FRUCTIFEROUS – Used to describe an object that produces fruit. A plant that yields something edible is fructiferous. An interesting way to get rid of two F‘s and a C. (144 points)

TABLEAU – a striking picture or arrangement. The conflict in Nigeria is one element of an alarming tableau, showing signs of possible aid from outside sources. The plural, tableaux, is a nice way to get rid of an X. (49 points)

CHARY – to be apprehensive or have misgivings about something. It is often followed by about or of. People are chary of their word choice in volatile situations. Easy to build from smaller words. [car -> char -> chary] (25 points)

XANTHOUS – having a yellow color. The sun is usually depicted as xanthous, though other warm colors are also used. Uses an X. (64 points)

BOLSTER – to support or sustain. It can also describe an object used as a support, usually a cushion. Economists expect that the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates will prompt consumers to borrow more and thus bolster the economy. Can be played from bolt. (49 points)

EPITAPH – A short dedication about a person. An epitaph usually occurs on a tombstone. Uses two P‘s and can be played from pit or tap. (49 points)

PROSAIC – ordinary or common. If something novel turns into something routine, it has become prosaic. Uses a P and a C, as well as 3 vowels. (49 points)

VOLATILE – unstable or given to sudden change. The U.S. market has been very volatile recently, having alternating days of great gains and losses for the first time in the history of the Standard and Poor stock index. Can be built from oil, tile, or vile. (64 points)

PORTEND – to signal or warn of. A combination of cloudy skies and wind often portends rain. Can be played from many smaller words: end, port, or, ten, tend. (49 points)

AMALGAM – a combination or mixture of things, usually metals. Dentists often fill cavities with an amalgam of mercury combined with gold or silver. Uses 3 A‘s. (49 points)

TYRED – tyre is the British spelling of tire, the round black rubber thing on your car, bike, or motorcycle. If you have tyred your vehicle, you’ve replaced the old tyres with new ones. Hundreds of tyres were set on fire in the recent London riots. The Swamp Talk dictionary includes both British and American spellings, on purpose! We’ve designed Swamp Talk to appeal to all English speakers (and English learners), regardless of residence. (25 points)

INDIGO – a dark blue color or dye, originally from the plant genus Indigofera, and now often synthetically manufactured. Plants in this genus also bear the name indigo. Uses two I‘s. (36 points)

SHAMBLE – verb: to walk awkwardly or without purpose.  We’re more familiar with the plural noun form of this word: when a scene is in [a] shambles, it’s a mess. The kitchen was in a shambles after the three dads prepared breakfast for 20 people. (However, breakfast was really, really good!) (49 points)

KOAN – a question without an an answer or without a logical answer, often posed by a Zen Buddhist instructor to a meditation student. The –OA– vowel combination also forms common words like boat and soap and is a good vowel combo to have on your letter line! (16 points)

DINGUS a doohickey, thingy, or other item whose name is lost to the ages or the speaker’s memory. Different from a dingo, which is a wild dog native to Australia. (36 points)

REVOLT – to break away from authority; to rebel (verb); a rebellion or uprising against authority (noun). The current revolt in Syria follows several other rebellions in the Arab world in the past several months. “Re-” helps to meet the prefix objective, and the letter combo “vot” could also become “vote” if you got an E rather than an L. (36 points)

FUGUE a musical form with a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below the continuing first statement; a dreamlike state of temporary amnesia. An unusual letter combination. (25 points)

QAT – a shrub whose leaves and buds contain a stimulant and are chewed or used as a tea. A way to get rid of a Q without a U. (9 points)

DEFAULT – to fail to perform or pay; to fail to meet financial obligations. If our Congressmen can’t agree on a plan soon, the U.S. will default on its debts. (49 points)

Ever tried to play “seen”, swiped wrong, and were amazed that the game accepted “ee”? It’s happened to us. Turns out EE, in addition to being the abbreviation for “electrical engineer”, “errors excepted”, and (in New Zealand) “ewe equivalent”, is a Scot word for eye. (4 points)

DINGY – a dark, dull, or dirty color; shabby; dismal. Dingy was played last night at the Swamp Talk Slam. (25 points)

WHOP – to strike forcibly; to defeat soundly; to pull violently. Yeah, we can’t believe this is a word either. dictionary.com’s example phrase is “to whop out a book.” (16 points)

LATHE – a machine used in working wood or metal that holds the material and rotates it against a shaping tool. (25 points)

Always looking for ways to use a Z, we just played FEZ – a felt cap, usually red, shaped like a truncated cone with a long black tassel. (9 points)

One of the words played during the Swamp Talk Slam on Friday was UNPENT – unconfined or released. (36 points)

DEFICIT – the amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount; a lack or shortage. The current major debate in Congress is over the federal budget deficit – each party has their own solution to U.S. debt, and nobody seems to be able to agree on what they should do. (49 points)

Our first Swamp Talk Slam was a huge success! Three teams competed fiercely for the longest words and highest scores. Team “The Moms” played USURERS – the plural form of usurer, someone who lends money and charges interest, especially at an exorbitant or unlawful rate. Perhaps they were thinking of college tuition, or perhaps they are particularly adept at using the -ER suffix. Or both. (49 points)

HABU – a large venomous snake, Trimeresurus flavoviridis, of Okinawa and other Ryukyu Islands. A habu is of the family Crotalidae (pit vipers). Yeow! A good word to have in mind when the line is filling up in Survival mode. (16 points)

Yesterday we ran a mock Swamp Talk Slam at Tertl offices – two teams, two monitors, one letter set, and a lot of excited shouting. Both teams independently played CACTI, later touted as “Your go-to default useful word. It jumps out at you, and you feel so accomplished when you play it.” Cacti, of course, is the plural of the familiar fleshy spined plant found in warm, dry areas. (25 points)

FINITE– having bounds or limits, measurable. (36 points) INFINITE – immeasurably great, unlimited. (64 points) Infinite uses three I‘s, and in counts toward the prefix objective.

SACCADE – a sudden jerking movement. It can refer to checking a horse by pulling the reins once, or sounding two violin strings together with a sudden strong pressure of the bow. Uses two consecutive C‘s. (49 points)

NTH – being the last or most recent in an infinite series. A three-letter word with no vowels. (9 points)

EERIE – weird or uncanny, inspiring superstitious fear. Uses three E‘s. (25 points)

SYZYGY – In astronomy, it is an alignment of three celestial objects. In poetry, it describes a group or combination of two metrical feet. It can also refer to any two related things, either similar or opposite. A way to use three Y‘s. (36 points)

AQUAS – In pharmacology, it refers to water. It can also describe a light greenish-blue. A way to use three vowels. (25 points)

HACKER – something which chops and cuts, a person who engages in an activity without skill, a computer enthusiast, or someone attempting to enter a protected computer system…which is the origin of the current British News Corp hacking scandal. (36 points)

HALLOW – to make holy or sanctify; to honor as holy or consider sacred. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II premieres at midnight tonight. In Harry Potter, the Deathly Hallows are three legendary magical objects: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. (36 points)

WYVERN – a two-legged winged dragon with a serpent’s barbed tail. (36 points)

QUEUE – (as a noun) A braid of hair; a file or line of people waiting their turn; or (in computers) an organized sequence of items waiting for action. (as a verb) To form a line – “queue up”. (25 points)

EXULT – to show elation, especially due to a success. A great way to use an X. (25 points)

BALMY – pleasantly warm (weather); extremely foolish or eccentric. (25 points)

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