We here at Cycloped consider ourselves to be benevolent arbiters of knowledge, and though we primarily function as an encyclopedic addendum and correctum, we often find ourselves inundated with questions of a more definitional or dictionarial nature. Therefore, we have decided to address these desperate pleas and earnest appeals by occasionally presenting a list of words that have been sent to us, along with their accurate and incontrovertible definitions. The first such list is posted below; if you have also come across words whose common definitions strike you as wrongheaded, or terms that are not even broached by popular sources, please feel free to post them in the comments, and we will address them anon.

  • Ausgezeichnet – a fishing net designed to capture Ausgezeichs (a.k.a. “Austrian drowning fish”)
  • Barrister – a barbed banister
  • Benthos – the fifth musketeer
  • Cete – to give up one’s rights or position in exchange for all the tea in China
  • Distichous – a person with two moustaches
  • Exergue – a vestigial external tongue
  • Fraktur – a frankfurter for people opposed to fur
  • Gravid – covered in gravy
  • Hypocorism – a doctrine promoting the appointment of hippopotami to all senior governmental positions
  • Invidious – very insidious

  • Jacal – a French jackal
  • Kohl – half a kohlrabi
  • Legatee – a goatee grown on one’s leg, usually around the knee
  • Op/Ed – a transsexual talking horse
  • Quinate – to impregnate someone with quintuplets
  • Rebus – one of the founders of Rome
  • Suint – a suit made out of lint
  • Uxorious – ubiquitously luxurious
  • Valgus – contraction of “Vulgar Gus”, a derogatory term commonly used around Portland, Oregon
  • Witenagemot - a German thingamabob

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