Test Yourself! Do You Know The Definition Of Any Of The Least Used Words In The English Language?

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Of course you know what the most used words in the English language are– you use those everyday.  Here are the top ten: the, of, to, an, a, in, is, it, you…and you get the picture.  But–what about the least used words?  Do they get any love too?  Here are 20 of the least used words in the English language– see if you’ve ever heard them before. Test yourself! Do you know the definition of any of the least used words in the English language?

1. Quizzaciously

“Quizzaciously” is an English word that means “in a mocking manner.”  The word was once one of the rarest in the world (which is known as a hapax legomenon- when a word only appears once in a body of text…or in this case, a Google search) until a notable Youtuber, Vsauce mentioned it in one of his videos.  The word is now trending online.  So, you could say, “She told him quizzaciously that not to make that word so dang popular.”

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2. Didapper

This word refers to duck-like creatures– the dictionary says: Any of various small grebes of the genera Poliocephalus and Tachybaptus.

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3. Genipap

The Genipap is a tropical American evergreen tree that has yellowish-white flowers and edible fruits used in preserves or drinks. The fruits give off a dark blue dye that is used as a body paint by Indians of tropical America.

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4. Futhorc

The common Germanic runic alphabet.  Basically, cool shapes we have no use for anymore. 

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5. Witenagemot

A ‘witenagemot’ is an Anglo-Saxon advisory council to the king, composed of about 100 nobles, prelates, and other officials, convened atintervals to discuss administrative and judicial affairs.

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6. Gossypol

toxic yellow pigment, C30H30O8obtained from cottonseed oil and detoxified by heating, that has been experimentally shown to inhibit sperm production. Whoa…science. 

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7. Chaulmoogra

The dictionary says chaulmoogra are any of several tropical Asian trees of the genus Hydnocarpus, whose seeds contain an oil formerly used to treat skinlesions caused by leprosy and other diseases. A healing tree!

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8. Brummagem

Something that is brummagem is showy but inferior and worthless. So basically, Lady Gaga is totally brummagem compared to Madonna. 

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9. Alsike

Alsike is a clover, Trifolium hybridum, native to Europe and Asia but widely cultivated as a forage crop. It has trifoliate leaves and pink or whitish flowers. I never knew what to call these things that grow all over my yard. 

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10. Chersonese

Chersonese is just a really pretty word for peninsula.

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11. Cacomistle

The dictionary says that a cacomistle is a small arboreal mammal (Bassariscus sumichrasti) of the order Carnivora, inhabiting Mexico and Central America andhaving a black-banded tail.

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12. Yogh

The Middle English letter ʓ, used to represent the sound (y) and some velar consonants similar to the ch in German Bachand the r in French France.  It’s a letter that didn’t make it into the English alphabet.

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13. Smaragd

Something that is smaragd is the color of emeralds.
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14. Duvetyn

The word duvet comes from this.  A duvetyn is a soft, short-napped fabric with a twill weave, made of wool, cotton, rayon, or silk.

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15. Pyknic

Pyknic refers to a physical type characterized by a broad squat fleshy physique with a large chest and abdomen.  He’s the big meaty guy you see walking around at the gym with huge muscles. 

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16. Fylfot

A fylfot is a swastika.
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17. Yataghan

Turkish sword or scimitar having a double-curved blade and an eared pommel, but lacking a handle guard. So, basically an old sword. 

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18. Dasyure

It’s like a little kiddy kangaroo!  The dictionary defines it as any small carnivorous marsupial, such as Dasyurus quoll (eastern dasyure), of the subfamily Dasyurinae, of Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands.

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19. Simoom

strong, hot, sand-laden wind of the Sahara and Arabian Deserts.  A sentence from a book by James Joyce says, “Stephen’s heart had withered up like a flower of thedesert that feels the simoom coming from afar.”

Image of "Approach of the simoom" by David Roberts showing a camel caravan near the Great Sphinx and Egyptian Pyramids, a dust storm coming at them.
Image of “Approach of the simoom” by David Roberts showing a camel caravan near the Great Sphinx and Egyptian Pyramids, a dust storm coming at them.

20. Kalia

A ‘kalia’ is an oriental tobacco pipe with a long flexible tube which is connected to a metal piece where smoke is cooled by passing through water. 

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