Category Archives: Lexicology

paragon

noun
  1. a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality.
    “It would have taken a paragon of douchebaggery to push the elderly nun down that back stairway, which is, unfortunately for Sister Antoinette, exactly what Father Sullivan was.”
  2. a person or thing viewed as a model of excellence.
    “‘Your cook is a paragon,’ said the cartel leader of his friend’s newest batch of meth.”
  3. a perfect diamond of 100 carats or more.                                           “‘You can like and want to put a ring on it all you want, but I ain’t saying yes unless I get a paragon, you rich mothafucka,’ the chanteuse was heard to whisper.”

gaucherie

noun
  1. awkward, embarrassing, or unsophisticated ways.

“He had hoped that she had long since gotten over various gaucheries such as smelling her Q-tips after cleaning her ears and picking at her toenails during therapy.  He was, once again, disappointed.”

roister

verb
  1. enjoy oneself or celebrate in a noisy or boisterous way.
    “Having destroyed the the last of his enemies in the village, he and his men roistered in the town church though the night before burning it down at dawn.”

desultory

adjective
  1. lacking a plan, purpose, or enthusiasm.
    “The ecstasy had worn off of most revelers by the time the sun rose over the desert; however, a few people hadn’t gotten the memo, and continued dancing in a rather desultory fashion.”
  2. (of conversation or speech) going constantly from one subject to another in a halfhearted way; unfocused.
    “Of all my patients, the schizophrenics are the most annoying: their attempts at conversation are desultory on the best of days, and their therapy goes nowhere.”
  3. occurring randomly or occasionally.
    “Desultory ne’er-do-wells began appearing claiming to be heirs to his artistic fortune.”

doxy

noun

archaic
  1. a lover or mistress.
    • a prostitute.
“He was pretty surprised when he thought her stage name was Doxy, but once he found out that that was her birth name, he knew her tornado-bait parents had doomed her to this life: she never had a chance.”

penury

noun
  1. extreme poverty; destitution.
“He had hoped that the judge or other litigants would have, if not compassion for his condition, at least an acknowledgment of the reality of his abject penury.  Alas, his hopes went unrealized.  ‘Fascists,’ he thought dismissively, but spent the rest of the afternoon imagining what all their heads would look like on sticks.”

adjure

verb

formal
  1. urge or request (someone) solemnly or earnestly to do something.
    “It is with nothing but love and respect that I adjure you to please, for the love of God, shut your word hole for just 5 minutes so that I can listen to the rest of this sonata in peace.”

profligate

adjective
  1. 1.
    recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources.
    “Dammit, Englebert!  You will not be profligate with my sausages!”
noun
  1. 1.
    a licentious, dissolute person.
       “I don’t know what you’re so upset about now…you knew I was an unmitigated profligate when you bailed me out of jail last night.  Now shut up and bring me some liquor.”

baleful

adjective
  1. threatening harm; menacing.
    “Bill shot a baleful glance in her direction, and she knew it was high time for some shut-mouth.”
  2. having a harmful or destructive effect

“Like Kali or Medusa or a big bag of cancer, this woman’s presence was always a baleful thing, regardless of time, place, or situation.”

noblesse oblige

noun

the inferred responsibility of privileged people to act with generosity and nobility toward those less privileged.

“There was to being a celebrity a certain element of noblesse oblige, which he deeply and consistently resented.”