7 More Words You Won’t Hear On Television

By Tim Ballingall

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia
[hype-oh-pop-oh-tom-on-…?]

noun
1. fear of long words.

In a sentence:
The doc said I have Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia. Well, shucks, I’m cured!

Etymology: From hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian, an extension of sesquipedalian with the Latin monstrum, “monster,” and a truncated, form of hippopotamus, Ancient Greek for “horse” and “river,” intended to exaggerate the length of the word itself and the idea of the size of the words being feared; combined with phobia.

pleonasm
[plee-uh-naz-uhm]

noun
1. the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.

In a sentence:
When the publisher rejected what he called a “pleonastic piece,” the writer reacted with—what she called in her diary—“angry vexation.”

Etymology: From the Greek pleonasmos, “to be more than enough.”

au gratin
[aw grat-n]

adjective
1. cookery: cooked or baked with a topping of either browned bread crumbs and butter or grated cheese, or with both.

In a sentence:
Fist bumping and sipping an alcoholic beverage, the reality TV star frequently boasted the bronze color of his au gratin skin.

Etymology: French for “the burnt part.”

prolepsis
[proh-lep-sis]

noun
1. Rhetoric: the anticipation of possible objections in order to answer them in advance.

In a sentence:
The car salesman plainly employed prolepsis when he said, “Now, ‘why,’ you might ask, ‘do I need a wood-grain dash with silver dust?’ The real question is ‘Why not?’”

Etymology: Greek for “an anticipating.”

aggregate
[ag-ri-git]

adjective
1. formed by the conjunction or collection of particulars into a whole mass or sum; total; combined.

In a sentence:
Many eons ago, humans walked around with aggregate contraptions on their wrists solely for telling time.

Etymology: From the Latin aggregates, meaning “associated.”

mondegreen
[mon-di-green]

noun
1. a word or phrase resulting from a misinterpretation of a word or phrase that has been heard.

In a sentence:
Whenever Joe listens to that famous Elton John song, he always hears the mondegreen, “Hold me close now Tony Danza.”

Etymology: From the Scottish ballad, “The Bonny Earl of Murray,” in which the line “laid him on the green” can be misheard as “Lady Mondegreen.”

aubade
[oh-bad]

noun
1. A song or poem greeting the dawn; also, a composition suggestive of morning.

In a sentence:
I see before me a cheerleading squad,
But hark! Be that so soon the lark’s aubade?

Etymology: From the French auba, “dawn.”

Oxford Reference Online from the Rohrbach Library’s Articles and Databases.

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4 Responses to “7 More Words You Won’t Hear On Television”


  1. 1 Karen Wanamaker January 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

    I’ll bet they say “au gratin” on the Food Network, though! 😉

  2. 2 Alex January 26, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Mondegreen—also a cool song by Yeasayer!

  3. 3 selling July 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I got this web page from my friend who told me about
    this web site and now this time I am browsing this site and reading very informative articles at this place.

  4. 4 kredyty August 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Why viewers still use to read news papers when in this technological world all is existing on web?


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