Superfluous Lexicon #4

Another eight words you don't need to know, but still should.

Sax Carrby Sax Carr



This is a word I use a lot, because I do it a lot. To pontificate is to speak with authority, usually to a crowd, and also to be pompous or dogmatic. I am, often, all of those things. So, in fact, the best way to define pontificating is all my articles. Also people like Glenn Beck and Joe McCarthy, so I guess it swings both ways. Unless you think I'm as bad as them. In which case I'm surprised you haven't tried to kill me yet. Why are you reading my article?

Example Sentence: Every day, I check Crave Online, anxious to discover what fascinating thing Zack S. West will pontificate about next!



Cajole is a fantastic word because it sounds so ridiculous. It means to manipulate, or persuade, but it looks like a word that would pop up in an Adam West as Batman debate. A friend cajoles you into buying him lunch, and a woman cajoles you into a lifelong commitment. I love that, for a word with such a negative meaning, it has such a cheerful sound. It's like the Maxwell's Silver Hammer of words.

Example Sentence: Once he failed to cajole her into bed with him, the creep went to plan GHB.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! That's the best definition I can give you of the word nefarious. It's Moriarty and the Joker and Snidely Whiplash. Anyone who's ever given a haughty laugh at someone's desperate pleas for mercy, or plotted to kill your father and frame you for it. It's handlebar mustaches, dark alleyway dwellers and doomsday machine creators. It's the best word to describe evil ever.

Example Sentence: Generic Protagonist! How dare you foil my nefarious scheme!


You may know the word tumult just because of the word tumultuous, it's much more popular child. It means an uproar, disarray or commotion. Like you have tumultuous seas, you can have the seas roaring in tumult. It's an incredibly poetic word, great for analogies, metaphors and things like similes. If you need an exact measurement of tumult, it is two steps below chaos and three steps above disruption.

Example Sentence: The tumult erupted the moment the stripper took her skirt off, because everyone could see her bulge.


There are very few words in my vocabulary as venomous or hateful as pusillanimous. I want people to know what it means so that when I say it, they cry like they are supposed to. Pusillanimous means cowardly, weak-willed and gutless, but to a level that is completely pitiful. No, it doesn't even deserve pity. Pusillanimous is how you describe the worst kind of coward. Like Rupert Murdoch placing the blame entirely on the News of the World staff. That was completely f***ing pusillanimous.

Example Sentence: That's right, Murdoch. I'm calling you out, you sniveling, pusillanimous old bastard.


Okay, this is a big deal for me, because I have been having serious problems with people not knowing this word for a while. Gubernatorial just means 'of the Governor'. Super simple. It is the term you use for the Gubernatorial Race, or the Gubernatorial Mistress. So why, when Arnold Swarzenneger got elected Governer, was he not called the Gubernator? That is so much funnier sounding than Governator. That's boring. You guys ruined what could have been a great thing for almost a decade by not knowing this word. And it made me so, so sad.

Example Sentence: "Honey, I'm the Governor, so you best do what I tell you and 'vote' on this Gubernatorial erection."


The thing about some words is that they can be used in a lot of ways, because they're meaning is foggy. In this case, I mean it literally, because obfuscate means to make foggy. It also means to hide, cover up, make unclear, confuse or bewilder. Magicians obfuscate the mechanics of their tricks, but the clouds also obfuscate the moon. It's another poetic word, just because there's so much that it can mean, but if you know the word, it's usage is always clear in context.

Example Sentence: You know, when you obfuscate the windshield with your feet, it makes it incredibly difficult to *CRASH* –death–


Another personal favorite, rigamarole means bureaucratic bullshit. Not exclusively, but that paints the best picture. If you can imagine filling out a form that leads you to another form that it turns out was only math for the first form but makes you realize there were three previous forms you needed to fill out, two of which have to be notarized so you can… then you get rigamarole. From there, you can apply it to anything. Cooking thanksgiving dinner? Rigamarole. Understanding the plot of any modern comic book? Rigamarole. Finding something even mildly entertaining on the internet? Rigamarole.

Example Sentence: "No way, Riggs. I'm too old for this rigamarole."