Came across this book recently – Foyle’s Philavery (collected by Christopher Foyle, of the English bookselling family with HQ in Charing X Rd). There are rather a lot of books like this these days – from miscellanies to companions via QI rip-offs. Seems like an easy way to a fast buck. But this is definitely a superior version. Philavery ‘was specially invented to describe the book – a collection of words chosen simply on the grounds of their aesthetic appeal.

I thought I would edify the assembled company by sharing some of my favourites:

  • antigropelos (noun): waterproof leggings or gaiters worn to protect the legs or clothes
  • battology (noun): an excessive and pointless repetition of words in speaking or writing (verbose preachers take note)
  • copintank (noun): a 16th-century hat with a high crown in the shape of a sugar loaf
  • displat (verb): to untwist, unplait
  • galimatias (noun): confused, meaningless talk; gibberish
  • grinagrog (noun): someone who is always grinning, especially foolishly and without reason (note this could be a useful synonym for a SWEG – ie someone with a Sickly Weak Evangelical Grin)
  • latrability (noun): the ability to bark
  • moodle (verb): to mooch; to meander aimlessly; to pass time in doing nothing
  • rantipole (noun): a wild, romping young person; (adjective): wild; roving; rakish
  • rhonchisonant (adjective): snorting, or making a snorting noise
  • sessle (verb in southern English dialects): to fidget; to move about restlessly
  • slubberdegullion (noun): a mean, slovely oaf
  • vengesour (noun): an avenger (like Karl Lagerfeld, in previous post)

Please offer any contributions you might have. Also, a crunchie bar to the person who can construct the best sentence with as many of these words in (but it has to make logical sense).

 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. An excessive employer of battology myself, and a convicted grinagrog, I think you could justify the purchase of this book easily by saying you’re getting a game of Balderdash on the cheap. Our family’s favourite word from that game was XYSTUS, but for the life of me I can’t remember the real meaning!

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