Monday, February 21, 2011

The word of the day is "malinger"

I'm fairly well-worded. I have what I believe to be an above average vocabulary. I took AP English in high school and I was even an English major for a small period of time. So how is it that, at almost 34 years of age, there are still words sneaking up on me?

The latest is "nefarious."

In the past week I have heard it THREE times. And before that? Never. No instances of "nefarious" in 34 years and then BAM three times in one week.

First it was by Camille Grammar while catching up on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (I mention Bravo TV too much on this blog, don't I?) and then by Rich from The Love Doctors on the radio and then while reading this blog post. says that it means "extremely wicked or villainous; iniquitous: a nefarious plot" -which I picked up on by hearing it 3 times in context.

Should I be embarrassed that I'd never heard of the word before last week? I mean, c'mon! I was a gifted kid! Perhaps I should get one of those "word of the day" calendars in order to increase my vocabulary so words like "nefarious" and "malinger" and "unctuous" and "flummox" don't sneak up on me again.

Do words sneak up on you, too?

malinger \muh-LING-guhr\, intransitive verb;
To feign or exaggerate illness or inability in order to avoid duty or work.
"Bug was complaining of stomach pains all morning, but I thought he was merely malingering in order to get out of going to school. Imagine my horror when the doctor told us he had appendicitis."