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).


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Adam

    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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