January 8, 2024

Wayne State Word Warriors release 2024 list

Scrabble tiles showcasing different alphabet letters.

Looking for something to talk about at your next kaffeeklatsch? Want to quiet the rawgabbits and blatherskites in your social media circle? Impress them all by sprinkling the Wayne State University Word Warriors’ latest selections into your conversations.

Now beginning its 15th year, Wayne State’s Word Warriors program aims to resurrect long-lost — but not completely forgotten — words. Its annual list is composed of submissions from both administrators of the website as well as the public; participants worldwide have seen their favorite words brought back from the brink of obsolescence at wordwarriors.wayne.edu. New entries are posted there — as well as on Facebook — weekly.

“Once again, our Word Warriors have provided a collection of words that makes our language a bit livelier,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of editorial services for Wayne State Marketing and Communications, and head of the Word Warriors program. “This year’s list is particularly evocative. I love to picture myself inhaling the petrichor after a summer thunderplump or listening to someone twankle away on a guitar. It’s really a great selection this year.”

And now, the Word Warriors’ 2024 list of eminently useful words that should be brought back to enrich our language:

  • Blatherskite
    • A person who talks at great length without making much sense.
    • The cable TV commentator was a blatherskite who produced 30 minutes of angry nonsense each night.
  • Curglaff
    • The shock felt when one first plunges into cold water.
    • He dove into the pool without thinking and the curglaff caused him to shriek when he came up for air.
  • Dollop
    • A shapeless mass or blob of something, especially soft food.
    • He sat down to enjoy a nice steak, grilled asparagus and a baked potato topped with a giant dollop of sour cream.
  • Kaffeeklatsch
    • An informal social gathering at which coffee is served.
    • After the kids got on the bus, the parents headed to the porch for their morning kaffeeklatsch.
  • Pawky
    • Having a mocking or cynical sense of humor.
    • He had a pawky wit that undercut his superiors' self-importance.
  • Petrichor
    • A pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.
    • He walked outside after the storm, the petrichor lifting his spirits as he hiked around the campground.
  • Pettifogger
    • An inferior legal practitioner, especially one who deals with petty cases or employs dubious practices.
    • He started with dreams of being a Supreme Court justice but in practice he was just another ambulance-chasing pettifogger.
  • Rawgabbit
    • A person who speaks confidently but ignorantly.
    • My social media feed is filled with rawgabbits trying to explain everything from epidemiology to engineering.”
  • Thunderplump 
    • A heavy fall of rain during a thunderstorm.
    • He'd hoped he could get home before the storm got too bad, but found himself instead jogging through a soggy thunderplump.
  • Twankle 
    • To twang with the fingers on a musical instrument.
    • He sat on the porch as dusk rolled in, twankling an old childhood favorite on the banjo.

Faculty spotlight

Contact

Katie McMillan
Phone: 586-344-8878
Email: katie.mcmillan@wayne.edu

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