Vampirarchy and other hilariously specific words you never knew existed
My brain is separated into five very distinct categories: basic life skills, cat puns, Friends quotes, inside jokes from middle school, and utterly useless words. That last one has long been the subject of this column and over the past few years, I’ve uncovered words on just about every topic. In the process, I’ve learned that there is a word for pretty much everything, even when you think there’s not. I was reminded of this fact the other day when I stumbled across the word “vampirarchy,” or “a set of rulers comparable to vampires,” in an online database. Now, why anyone outside of the Twilight fandom would use this word, I have no idea. Maybe that’s why I was so fascinated by it. After a little bit of digging, I found that vampirarchy is not the only oddly specific word out there. In fact, there are quite a few:
1) Epalpebrate (adj.): lacking eyebrows
Example: Someone made a Tumblr where they removed the eyebrows of like, every hot celebrity so now they’re all epalpebrate and crazy-looking. Go check it out!
The existence of a word like epalpebrate tells me one thing: that somewhere in the world, there is a person who has encountered so many eyebrowless people in their lifetime that they felt the need to create a word to describe the phenomena more easily. Some poor soul is living in a city filled with residents that look like they were plucked from a Tumblr user’s “If Celebrities Lacked Eyebrows” blog. Am I the only one that thinks this sounds like the start of the most terrifying scary movie ever?
2) Coquinate (v.) to behave as a cook
Example: Martha Stewart may seem like a really talented chef, but I heard she’s really just coquinating.
In my lifetime, I have burned microwaveable rice, set fire to a pan of tofu, and torched 2-minute “instant” pudding. A baby with no motor skills could probably do a better job, but thanks to my masterful coquination skills, I’ve learned to avoid public scrutiny and humiliation. If you know how to Google recipes online and delegate the most important food preparation tasks to friends, it becomes really quite simple.
3) Avunculize (v.): to act as an uncle
Example: Uncle Joe couldn’t make it to the reunion, so my brother decided to avunculize all night. Needless to say, it was a weird event.
If you’re not the best Martha Stewart impersonator, though, you could always try your hand at imitating an uncle, though what that involves is kind of unclear. I mean, what does it mean to “act like an uncle”? Do you have to loudly discuss conspiracy theories at holiday dinner parties? Buy your friends obscure Christmas presents like raccoon-shaped ankle warmers? Hug your relatives until they turn blue? I need a little more clarity here.
4) Ichthyarchy (n.): the domain or rule of fishes
Example: Aquaman has complete ichthyarchy.
If you thought vampirarchy was odd, let me present to you ichthyarchy or “domain over the world of fishes.” I’ve included Aquaman in my example because that is literally the only purpose I can think of for this term, unless “training an army of fish” becomes a legitimate career option in the near future.
5) Gongoozler (n.): a person who enjoys watching activity on the canals
Example: Alan is such a gongoozler, he just sits on the bank and watches the canal all day.
What an original example, I know, but it serves its purpose. Though a gongoozler originally referred to a person who enjoys staring at canals all day (which seems a bit unhealthy if you ask me), it has since been used to refer to any kind of idle or spacey person. (I wanted to find a clever way to sneak “bamboozled gongoozler” into this description but I couldn’t, so I’m just going to leave it the way it is.)
6) Dacryops (n.): moistness of the eye
Example: Why Amy, are those tears in your eyes or do you just have dacryops?
If you imagine Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes saying the above sentence, it will distract you just long enough for you to forget that the word “moist” is part of the definition. While most people use the word “teary” to describe watery eyes, you could always try using dacryops as an alternative, but I can’t promise you that people won’t start thinking that you’re talking about some special kind of Cyclops.
Feel free to share any more weirdly specific words that you’ve found. I can always make room in my brain for a few more oddities.
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