Category Archives: Lexicology

Word of the Day: pestiferous

Word of the Day: pestiferous



  1. harboring infection or disease.
  1. humorous – constituting a pest or nuisance; annoying.

The janitor had clearly grown tired of the conversation and had begun thinking more about his lunch than the outcome of this colloquy: “No…what you’re going to do is take your pestiferous ass back to that rotting hovel and leave us alone to make babies and drink deeply of the green chartreuse.”  It was, it occurred to him at that moment, one of the stranger Wednesdays he’d had in a while.

N.P.: “Scarface (Push It To The Limit)” – Paul Engemann

Word of the Day: botryoidal

Good afternoon, dear reader…

Yo rent is due.  And your Word of the Day is botryoidal.  Behold:


  1. (chiefly of minerals) having a shape reminiscent of a cluster of grapes.

The urologist thought he’d seen it all until that fateful Thursday when he found himself unable to describe the shape of the set of odious and detestable testicles in his nitrile-gloved hands as botryoidal.  

“Never saw anything like this in med school,” muttered the doctor darkly to himself.

“You got all the way through med school without seeing a set of testicles?” said the patient, whose actual name the doctor knew, but who had become known in the doctor’s mind in the last 30 seconds as Grape Nuts.

“Shut up, Grape Nuts,” said the doctor, who, upon saying it, regretted having said it aloud, as that was not his intention.  


N.P.: “Why Do I?” – Thumpasaurus

Word of the Day: dotard

A dotard is someone, usually of advanced age, who has begun to show a decline in mental faculties such as memory, attention, and decision-making, often leading to moments of confusion or forgetfulness. It’s a term that paints a picture of an adorable yet slightly befuddled grandparent, wandering into a room with purpose only to forget why they’re there.

The term “dotard” comes from the Middle English word “doten,” which means to dote. Doting originally had meanings related to being silly or feeble-minded due to age. Over time, it evolved into “dotard,” specifically referring to an elderly individual showing signs of senility. It’s a word that Shakespeare and Chaucer threw around like confetti at a wedding, adding a touch of historical class to what essentially amounts to calling someone a lovable old goofball.

Once upon a recent Thursday, in a quiet town just outside of Maryland, there lived a notorious dotard named Joseph. Joseph was known far and wide for his whimsical forgetfulness, which often led to amusing situations.
One sunny afternoon, Joseph set out from his house with a determined look on his face, wearing a bathrobe and slippers. His mission? To buy milk. The only problem was, by the time he reached the end of his driveway, he had forgotten why he’d left the house in the first place.
After standing there for a solid five minutes, scratching his head, he shrugged and decided he must have wanted to go for a walk. So, off Joseph went, wandering around the neighborhood in his bathrobe, waving cheerfully at confused neighbors, unaware that several Secret Service agents were following him.
Eventually, he found himself in front of the local supermarket. An idea struck him – a brilliant, undeniable urge. Joseph marched into the supermarket, went straight to the pet aisle, and bought the largest bag of birdseed they had.  Joe still failed to notice the Secret Service detail following his every motion.
Upon returning home, his wife asked him, bewildered, “Joseph, why on Earth did you buy a year’s supply of birdseed? We don’t even have a bird!”
Joseph, looking equally puzzled, glanced down at the birdseed, then back at his wife, and said, “Well, I’ll be. I knew I went out for something important. But don’t you worry, Jill. I’ve got it figured out. We’ll just have to get a bird now, won’t we?”

These sorts of goings-on were daily occurrences and basically fine until an aide made her daily reminder to Joseph that he was, in fact, the sitting President of the United States.

“I am?  Me?  Well…son of a bitch.”  An rather moronic but somehow menacing grin took over his face.  “So, I can do whatever I want?  I want my ice cream before dinner.  I want my ice cream now!  And Matlock!  Now!”  Joe just loved Matlock.
Joseph’s advisors conferred briefly, and called a press lid on the rest of Joseph’s month.  Joe was asleep before the opening credits of Matlock finished rolling, his ice cream cone resting stupidly on his chest, beginning to melt.

N.P.: “Love Bomb Baby” – Tigertailz

Word of the Day: kakistocracy

Kakistocracy (noun): A system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.  It’s a real word for when the village idiots become the town council.

Origin: The word is a delightful blend of Greek components:
Kakistos (κάκιστος): Meaning “worst”—because why settle for mediocrity when you can aim for the abyss?
Kratos (κράτος): Meaning “rule”—because even chaos needs a manager, apparently.

The President of the United States gazed vacantly at the tens of people who had gathered to hear his speech.  Once again, he had forgotten not only what he was saying, but where he was.  Where he was was widely known for certain: he was presently in the House of Representatives delivering the State of the Union Address. 

This sort of thing had been happening a lot lately, but really, things had never been good, mental-acuity-wise for this president.  His inauguration was the most memorable for many reasons: the first inauguration to be sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party, the first inauguration to have a president to take the oath pantsless (but he was wearing mismatched socks and a blissfully ignorant grin).  It was a horrible day.  When the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appeared on the dais, he was dressed as female clown and, as one writer put it, “engaged in cheap Socratic banter and low-rent sleight-of-hand with the handful of people who had shown up to witness this farce.”  The majority leader of the Senate came out and tried (and completely failed) to juggle several rubber chickens.  The traditional oath of office was replaced on this occasion by a rather bawdy nursery rhyme, and the president’s acceptance speech seemed to center around a promise replace all traffic lights in the US with interpretive dance troupes. 

“It’s better for the environment!  Climate change is the biggest threat our country faces.”  White supremacy was number two, followed closely by transphobia. 

The crowd of nearly 10 people erupted in panicked gasps.  A secret service agent was so taken aback that he accidently knocked over the podium.  The president tripped on the Chief Justice’s clown shoes and fell into a truly massive cake shaped like the national debt. 

Manolo, a janitor at the event who, unbeknownst to anyone, had the highest actual IQ of anyone in DC, ran onto the stage and grabbed the microphone.  “You know what climate change, white supremacy, and transphobia have in common?”

Confused silence from the crowd.

“They’re not threats to our country.  In fact, they don’t really exist at all.” 

And with that, the crowd as well as the entire kakistocracy they had voted for simply disappeared in a fetid puff of idiocy and lies.

N.P.: “The Man” – The Killers

Word of the Day: indefatigable

Right, so today’s word is “indefatigable”. No, it’s not a new type of inflatable mattress, nor is it a fancy name for a hipster indie band. It’s an adjective, dear reader, meaning persisting tirelessly. That’s right, it’s like the Energizer Bunny of words.
Originating from the Latin indefatigabilis, where “in-” means “not” and “defatigare” means “to tire out”, this word basically means you’re too stubborn to admit you’re exhausted. It’s like saying “I’m not tired, you’re tired!” to your body after pulling an all-nighter.

Fred was a middle-aged man who had taken up porn as a way to escape his mid-life crisis.  Not watching porn, mind you…Fred had been doing that since he was a kid.  He was convinced that if he could bone enough on film, he’d eventually somehow outbone his rapidly receding hairline and expanding waistline.  So he packed his shit and moved to Van Nuys to get his video fuck on.  His friends called him “indefatigable Fred,” mostly because it sounded better than “delusional Fred.”
One day, Fred’s agent called him up and asked him if he wanted to book a gig called “The Luckiest Man in the World,” which was a porn franchise that filmed twice a year featuring a single middle-aged man having coitus with as many available female porn stars as he could handle.  They typically started with 26 actresses on the set, and then, if, as had been the case the last several years, the male talent was going to need more than 26, they’d call girls in.  The director of these hyperlibidinous productions referred to the whole production as “the Inferno Fuckathon” as all participants experienced painful  burning sensations whilst urinating for days/weeks after filming.  This was so bad that even seasoned male porn athletes were known to weep at the mere mention of its name.  Though it seemed like a wonderful idea on paper to most men, most men have not had to successfully copulate with 26 different females in one take…it was an uphill fuck-slog done poolside, in the blistering California summer heat, with no shade whatsoever.  And, unbeknownst to Fred, due to declining sales in the new decade, the director had decided that making the thing more of an extreme sport than a typical porno shoot would draw in more mainstream viewers, and thus would throw in a rabid, ball-biting wolverine on the set, just to keep things spicy. 

On fuck day (as Fred had put it in his calendar), Fred snorted several healthy lines of Viagra and arrived on set wearing nothing but cowboy boots, a thin sheen of Vaseline, and a huge smile.  Once filming started, Fred’s huge smile quickly turned into a determined grimace.  He started his slow, relentless lovemaking.  Hours passed, actresses dropped out, the wolverine snapped, but Fred…Fred kept going.  The sun set, the moon rose, a new day dawned, and still, our indefatigable Fred was boning.  He’d long since run out of water, his sheen of Vaseline literally fucked off, balls unbitten but burned in the sun, and he was pretty sure he’d lost a finger to the damn wolverine.  But did he stop?  No!  Because Fred was indefatigable. 

When filming finally wrapped, three days later, there was no one there to cheer him on.  The production staff had packed up and left, most of the female talent was long gone, and even the wolverine had lost interest.  But none of that mattered to Fred.  He’d done it.  He’d completed the Inferno Fuckathon.  He was indefatigable. 

N.P.: “Facts” – Tom MacDonald, Ben Shapiro

Word of the Day: extirpate


Good day, most literate reader.  The Word of the Day is extirpate.  Though it sounds like a term your dentist would use in describing cavity treatment, extirpate means to destroy or exterminate completely; often used in relation to disease or pests.
This beautifully menacing word hails from the Latin ‘exstirpare,’ meaning ‘to root out.’ It’s like the Terminator of words, all about total annihilation, no prisoners taken.  Which makes it one of the most awesome words one can have in one’s lexicological arsenal.  It should also, then, come as no surprise that it was the inspiration for my latest contribution to the English canon: sextirpate, which means, vaguely, to somehow fuck somebody completely out of existence.  The mind simply reels at the possibilities when contemplating the mechanics of such an event.  Anyway, that’s another Word for another Day.  Here’s extirpate:

Dream #721
The tale of Bill Lee, exterminator extraordinaire for the shadowy outfit that went by the name Interzone Inc., unfolded like a hallucinogenic daydream on a scorching Moroccan afternoon. Lee’s work had nothing to do with roaches or rats; his prey was of a much more delicate and dangerous variety—human vices, frayed thoughts stitched into the fabric of a corroding society.
He operated in the alleyways of existence, where the sunlight dared not penetrate. Armed with his Gashouse Pistol—a contraption more suited for the pages of a pulp novel than reality—he set about his business with the solemn duty of an otherworldly surgeon needing to extirpate a virulent cancer.
On this particular dive into the heart of the Interzone, where the air was thick with argot and narcotics perfumed the atmosphere, he had his sights trained on a new breed of pestilence. A mind-eating parasite, one that latched onto the consciousness of its host, whispering sweet insanities and dragging them into the soft, welcoming arms of delirium.
Lee slinked through the human bazaar, past hawkers of flesh and dream merchants peddling their ephemeral wares. The chatter of the crowd was a disjointed symphony, a cacophony of desire and desperation that wove itself into the very essence of the Interzone, a tapestry of the soul’s darkest cravings.
He found his mark in a smoke-filled den, a place where existential dread came to drown itself in opium and absinthe. The target? A writer, or so he called himself, scribbling away on stained parchment, his once lucid eyes now clouded by the parasite’s embrace.
Bill Lee approached, the Gashouse Pistol concealed beneath his tattered trench coat, its presence as ominous as the silence before a gunshot. “You’ve got something in your head,” Lee stated, not a question but a terminal diagnosis.
The writer looked up, his grin a cracked reflection of his fractured psyche. “It whispers truths,” he replied, his voice a being unto itself, “the kind that kills if left untended.”
Without a flicker of hesitation, Bill Lee drew his weapon, unceremoniously discharging it into the writer’s temple. But instead of blood and bone, a plume of ink-black vapor emanated from the wound, coiling and twisting as it evaporated into the stale air.
The parasite was gone, extirpated by the hands of an executioner ordained by the Interzone to maintain the balance between the sane world and the chasm of madness threatening to engulf it.
Bill Lee pocketed his weapon as the den’s inhabitants stared, the collective pause a moment of reverence for the necessary evil just enacted. He stepped out into the twilight, leaving behind only the legend of the exterminator, the shadow man, the dealer of decrees in a land ruled by the capricious nature of the mind’s abyss.
In the Interzone, Bill Lee’s work was never done, for every vice extinguished, another was born, and his haunting silhouette would always be there, lurking, waiting to administer the cure that was often worse than the disease.

N.P.: “Seven Souls” – William S. Burroughs

Word of the Day: surfeit

Greetings, my fellow linguistic tricksters. Grab your spiked coffee, Texas tea, or, what the hell, a tall shot of breakfast whiskey.. It’s time for our Word of the Day, and today’s lucky contestant is “surfeit.”
If you’re like 95% of your semiliterate cohorts, you’ve likely never heard of it.  Well, buckle up, buttercup, because Uncle Jayson’s about to give you an education.
Surfeit, my dear reader, is a noun that means an excessive amount of something. Like when you go to Costco and buy a 75lb case of parmesan cheese because it’s on sale, only to realize when you get home that you live alone and only use parmesan cheese twice a month when you make yourself pasta. That, my friend, is a surfeit of parmesan cheese.
But let’s not stop there.  A surfeit isn’t just an excess; it’s an excessive excess. It’s like taking gluttony, cranking it up to eleven, and then adding 50lbs of cherries on top. It’s the kind of excess that makes people look at you and say, “Damn, Caligula, that’s excessive.”
Imagine going to a buffet and not just filling your plate, but stacking it high until it resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And then going back for seconds. And thirds. And maybe even fourths. That’s a surfeit of food. And also probably a one-way ticket to a very uncomfortable evening.
Now, I can see you sitting there, thinking to yourself, “Why on God’s abandoned earth would I ever need to use this word?” Well, the next time you’re at a party, and someone asks why you’re ferociously hoarding all the guacamole, you can just look them in the eye and say, “I have a surfeit of love for avocados.” Not only will you sound incredibly sophisticated, but you’ll also have a great excuse for your guacamole greed.
So there it is: Surfeit. A word that’s as fun to say as it is to experience. Unless we’re talking about 75lbs of parmesan cheese. In which case, in the spirit of charity and good will, leave it on the steps of a local soup kitchen: somebody will eat it.
Now let’s use this bastard in a story:
Our hero, dear friends, is none other than yrs. truly. And our setting? The hallowed halls of the ‘Drunken Donkey’, the finest (and only) pub in my little corner of nowhere. It was a Friday night, or maybe a Tuesday—it’s hard to remember when every day feels like a weekend.
I was sitting at the bar, nursing my third—or was it fourth?—pint of the Donkey’s famous ‘Kick-Ass Ale’. Across from me, Old Man Jenkins was snoring into his whiskey, a regular tableau at the ‘Donkey’.
Enter our villain: the infamous ‘Gut-Puncher’, a drink so potent, it could knock out a horse—or an overly confident fool who thought he could handle his liquor. Spoiler alert: that fool was me.
“Oh, come on,” slurred my buddy Pete, as he slammed the Gut-Puncher down in front of me. “Don’t tell me you’re scared.”
“I’m not scared,” I shot back. “I’m terrified. There’s a difference.”
But under the weight of peer pressure and the haze of alcohol, my common sense took a backseat. I grabbed the Gut-Puncher, raised it high, and declared, “To a surfeit of bad decisions!”
The crowd cheered. I chugged. The world spun.
When I woke up the next morning, sprawled on my bathroom floor with a throbbing headache and a mouth that tasted like a rabid raccoon’s ass, I had two thoughts. The first was, “Why is there a garden gnome in my tub?” The second was, “I have experienced a surfeit of alcohol, and I will never drink again.”
Of course, that was a lie. Because the next Friday (or was it Tuesday?), there I was again, back at the ‘Drunken Donkey’, ready for another round.
And that, my friends, is the story of how I learned the true meaning of ‘surfeit’. It’s also why I now have a garden gnome named Fred in my bathroom. But that’s a story for another day.
Until then, remember: drink responsibly, don’t challenge Pete to a drinking contest, and if you ever find yourself with a surfeit of gnomes… well, let me know. Fred could use some company.

N.P.: “Come Together” – The Brothers Johnson

Word of the Day: guttersnipe

Happy Friday, dear reader.  Let’s get to it!  Grab a pint of your favorite libation, because it’s time for our Word of the Day!  I’ve been reading a lot of Dickens recently (’tis the season, ’tisn’t it?), so today’s linguistic gem that we’re about to mercilessly dissect is  “guttersnipe.”
So, what in the name of God’s Balls is a guttersnipe? It sounds like something you’d find lurking in the bowels of your antiquated plumbing system, right? Well, not quite, but close.  A guttersnipe, dear readers, is a term used to describe a street urchin or a child of the streets.
Originally, this delightful word comes from the good ol’ 19th century England, where words were as colorful as Queen Victoria’s royal panties (pure conjecture, dear reader, don’t quote me on that). The term combines “gutter” (a street’s drainage system) and “snipe” (a slender-billed bird known for its elusive nature), painting a vivid picture of scrappy kids dodging in and out of London’s grimy alleyways.
Now, let’s imagine a scenario, shall we? Picture this: You’re strolling through a modern city, and suddenly, a blur of motion catches your eye. It’s a kid, no older than ten, darting between the bustling crowd, his nimble fingers swiping wallets with the grace of a seasoned ballet dancer. He’s not just any pickpocket; he’s the Guttersnipe.
The Guttersnipe, with his artfully smudged face and twinkling eyes, rules the proverbial concrete jungle. He’s got the agility of a cat, the cunning of a fox, and the audacity of a peacock on bath salts. He’s a regular Robin Hood, if Robin Hood traded his forest for skyscrapers and his merry men for a gang of equally nimble-fingered miscreants.
One day, the Guttersnipe spots a new target: a man so engrossed in his jumbo hot dog that he doesn’t notice the wallet slipping out from his pocket. The Guttersnipe swoops in, snatches the wallet, and vanishes into the crowd faster than you can say “extra mustard.”
But when he opens the wallet, what does he find? Not cash, not credit cards, but a mountain of coupons for free hot dogs. The Guttersnipe can’t help but laugh. He may be a street urchin, but even he knows there’s such a thing as too many hot dogs.
And so, our little guttersnipe learns a valuable lesson: not all wallets are created equal. And some, it seems, are full of nothing but processed meat dreams.
So there you have it, folks. From the grimy streets of 19th century England to the hot dog stands of modern cities, the guttersnipe endures, a testament to the enduring power of language and the universal appeal of free food.

N.P.: “My Way” – Sid Vicious

Word of the Day – bumfuzzle

Damn right the word of the day is bumfuzzle.  Because why the hell not.

Despite my dirtiest hopes, bumfuzzle is not something you’ll find on the menu of one of those horrible quasi-brothels in downtown London with the dead-eyed Slavic chicks (though the next time I’m in one of those wretched places, I might order a bumfuzzle and just see what happens.
Anyway, bumfuzzle is indeed a real word and not some gibberish I scrawled in my journal when I woke from this afternoon’s Ny-Quil-influenced fever dream.  It’s an olden goldie from the deep South, dating back to the mid-19th century. And no,  it doesn’t mean your bum’s gotten into a fight with a puzzle.  It’s a verb that means to confuse, perplex, or fluster.

Enrique found himself unexpectantly bumfuzzled before the day had even really started when, upon picking up his usual venti mocha with whip, the heavily bearded yet totally bald, six-foot-four baristo suddenly began bellowing angrily about being misgendered. 

“…the fuck you talking about?” Enrique asked, annoyed to have to turn around in the midst of his hurried exit.

“You called me ‘sir.'”

Enrique had uttered an unusually polite “thank you, sir,” when he was handed his coffee.  That was maybe two seconds ago, and already Enrique regretted trying to be polite today. 

“Yes, I called you ‘sir.’  What’s the problem?”

“It’s ‘ma’am…I identify as female,” the baristo yelled deeply. 

Enrique took a few steps closer to read the nametag: Stanya.  Enrique noticed for the first time Stanya’s clothing, which, rather than a dress or assless chaps or anything at all that would have indicated that this idiot was pretending to be a woman, consisted of men’s jeans and a Motorhead t-shirt. 

“…The fuck outta here.  You’ve got more beard than ZZ Top.  You wanna pretend to be a women, first thing you need to do is fuckin’ shave.”

This caused Stanya to plunge into instant and deep conniption and apoplexy.  He lunged at Enrique, who deftly dodged the charging Stanya in exactly the same way a matador would dodge a freight train.  Stanya’s own massive motion sent him through the front window of the coffee shop, where he came to rest as a cut-up mess several feet outside of the coffee shop.  Enrique passed gracefully through the remnants of the front door to find himself standing over Stanya’s prone adiposity. 

“You are whatever I say you are, cupcake,” said Enrique.  “I rescind my ‘thank you,’ and replace it with an enthusiastic ‘go fuck yourself.’ 
Back in his car, Enrique, who had been in the United States illegally for several months now and deeply regretted spending so much money to get to this absurd and unserious country, decided he’d had enough and began to make plans to get back to Mexico as soon as possible. 

N.P.: “I’m a Man” – Black Strobe

Word of the Day: petrichor

Petrichor refers to the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather; the pleasant, earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry ground.

It’s a combination of two Greek words: “petra” meaning stone, and “ichor” meaning the blood of the gods. This word was coined by two Australian scientists in 1964, who described the smell as “an oily essence”.

Once upon an recent afternoon, in the bustling city of San Francisco, there lived a man named Harold. Harold was your typical SF denizen, a tech-obsessed investment wizard whose life revolved around stocks, shares, and the ever-fluctuating market. He rarely had time to appreciate the simpler things in life, like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or the delicate rustle of autumn leaves.

One day, after a particularly stressful day at work, Harold decided to take a walk in Golden Gate Park. As he was strolling, the skies opened up, and a sudden downpour began. Harold, unprepared as he was, took shelter under a large oak tree. As the raindrops kissed the parched earth, a distinctive scent filled the air.

“Is that… Is that piss I’m smelling?  Is it literally pissing out here?” Harold wondered aloud, scrunching up his nose. A passerby overheard him and laughed.

“No, sir,” the stranger corrected with a smile, “That’s petrichor.”

“Bong wash!” Harold exclaimed, annoyed.  “It’s piss.”

The stranger breathed deeply, then admitted, “Okay, yes, that’s mostly piss.  The first rain of the season really wakes up all the piss and shit and fentanyl that covers this entire city, but if the rain keeps up like this for another ten minutes or so, it’ll be the wonderful smell of petrichor.” The stranger then explained the meaning of the word. Harold listened, fascinated. He took a deep breath, hoping to let the earthy scent fill his senses. Instead, he still got only the acrid stench of piss.  Rather than feeling the strange serenity that washes over people experiencing actual petrichor, he grew increasingly resentful and angry at the city with already caused him resentment and anger as the smell of piss continued to waft and billow into his nostrils.  

Then the rain suddenly stopped.  Both Harold and the stranger inhaled deeply and hopefully, but were crushed by the reality that is San Francisco.  “Nope…nothing but piss,” said Harold.  “There is simply more piss than rain water.”  

The stranger shrugged.  “Well, fuck it,” he said, resigned.  “I can give you some fentanyl and a hummer for $10.”  

“Sounds good,” replied Harold.  Harold followed the stranger into a nearby public restroom, where Harold was grotesquely violated and beaten by several drug-addicted, homeless friends of the stranger, and subsequently sold to human traffickers from Mexico.  

Feel free to share your own stories using ‘petrichor’ in the comments below.

N.P.: “Lion” – Saint Mesa