Why YOU Need a ZARF–Part Two


Do you know what this is?   Photo Credit: voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com via Compfight cc

Welcome to the second half of my A to Z blog hop finale word list.

Missed the first half? Find A through K here.

The A to Z list, continued:

Ledgerdemain – trickery, sleight of hand. One of those words that sounds nothing like it means. Another fine example of an un-onomatopoetic word is pulchritude, which means beauty.

Myrmidons – legendary Thessalian warriors, or hired ruffians or unscrupulous subordinates. Immortalized in that famous Shakespearean line:

I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Malvolio’s nose is no whipstock: my lady has a white hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.


photo: wikipedia

Nebelwerfer – a six-barreled rocket mortar. (Although it sounds like something small and round with bright purple fur.)

Oe – a whirlwind near the Faeroe Islands. Admittedly obscure, but a very useful word to know in certain situations.

Prevaricate –  to speak or act in an evasive way, to avoid the truth. “Many fictional characters are experts at prevaricating.” Learn more.

Qat,Qi &Qoph (a three-fer) – The national pastime of Yemen, the Chinese concept of natural energy and a Hebrew letter (ק). Need I mention why you should know all three?

Retronym – a term specifying the original meaning of a noun once a new version has been developed. Examples include analog clock, manual typewriter, and acoustic guitar.

Spam FlavorsSpam – an acronym for the secret ingredients of this canned delicacy: Skunk, Possum And Mouse. (OK, that may be an urban legend—or perhaps a redneck legend?) But I don’t eat the stuff, just in case.

Troglodyte – a caveman, or a person being deliberately old-fashioned. “My mom is a technological troglodyte. She still uses a TracFone.”

Unkindness – the collective term for a group of ravens. Not to be confused with a murder of crows, a parliament of rooks, a wake of buzzards, or an ostentation of peacocks. See more group names here. 

Verbicide – intentional distortion of a word’s meaning. “His puns are so bad, he commits acts of verbicide every time he talks.”  Learn more about verbal crimes here. I also found an a e-mag called Verbicide, (although it is not clear why.)

Wonky – crooked, unsteady, or not functioning properly.

The Stargazer stood on a corner, with the usual arrangement of crazy-patterned marble counters at right angles where, come lunchtime, big pots of unappetizing broths would attract more flies than customers. Inside, a wonky shelf had been nailed to a wall, using too-short nails. Beakers in various sizes were perched on it, ready to crash off when the fixings gave way. A faded sign on one wall offered varieties of wine, with illegible notes of their prices. From Enemies at Home by Lindsey Davis.


A Xebec

Xebec (also spelled zebec)– a three-masted ship with a lateen sails and an overhanging bowsprit, similar to a corsair galley.

Yttrium – one of those elements you don’t know anything about. Named for the town of Ytterby in Sweden where it was discovered.

As I mentioned last week, a zarf is an ornamental cup holder. It nets 16 points in Scrabble and 27 in Quiddler. Looking for an even higher score? try these:

Zax –  a hand tool used to prepare slate roofing tiles.  Worth 19 points in Scrabble or 28 in Quiddler.

or, even better…

Zymurgy –  the branch of chemistry dealing with fermentation, as in beermaking, winemaking, or bootlegging. It nets a whopping 25 points in Scrabble or 42 points in Quiddler. And just to prove I didn’t make it up , here is a link to Zymurgy magazine.

If you love unusual words, find many more at this site.


Why YOU Need a ZARF–Part Two — 6 Comments

    • That’s the wonderful thing about English, so many words we didn’t know about. And every type of word game has its own arcane vocabulary of otherwise unused words.

  1. My hubby introduced the word “ledgerdemain” to me back when
    we were dating. Now I know how it’s spelled! 😉

    One of my grandmas used to serve sandwiches made with SPAM.
    It is rumored to be gelatinous ham. 😉

    And I will think of this post fondly the next time I use a zarf at a
    coffee shop!