Unique Words

350+ Unique Words You Can Use To Impress People

Review this list of unique words if you want to sound super educated and impress your friends with your fancy language skills. No matter how learned you are, you’ll find dozens of words below that you’ve never EVER heard of. Add them to your vocabulary or just skim for fun.

Abaya — a full-length, sleeveless outer garment worn by Arabs

Abomasum — the fourth stomach of a ruminant, such as a cow or sheep

Absquatulate — to leave somewhere abruptly

Adscititious — additional

Afreet — a powerful jinn or demon in Arabian and Muslim mythology

Albertopolis — a group of museums and other cultural institutions in South Kensington in London, named after Prince Albert

Unique Words

Alcazar — a Spanish palace or fortress

Amphibology — a phrase or sentence that is grammatically ambiguous, such asShe sees more of her children than her husband

Amphisbaena — a mythical serpent with a head at each end

Anfractuous — winding or circuitous

Anguilliform — resembling an eel

Apoptosis — the death of cells which occurs as a normal part of an organism’s growth or development

Apple-knocker — informal an ignorant or unsophisticated person

Argle-bargle — copious but meaningless talk or writing

Argus-eyed — vigilant, referring to Argos, a Greek mythological watchman with a hundred eyes

Argute — shrewd

Aspergillum — an implement used for sprinkling holy water in religious ceremonies

Astrobleme — an eroded remnant of a large, ancient crater made by the impact of a meteorite or comet

Attic salt — refined, incisive wit

Autotomy — the casting off of a limb or other part of the body by an animal under threat, such as a lizard

Badmash — a hooligan

Bandoline — a sticky preparation used for setting hair

Unique Words

Bardolatry — humorous excessive admiration of Shakespeare

Barmecide — illusory or imaginary and therefore disappointing

Barn burner — a very exciting or dramatic event, especially a sports contest; first used of an exceptionally good hand at bridge

Bashment — a large party or dance

Bawbee — Scottish a coin of low value

Benthos — the flora and fauna on the bottom of a sea or lake

Bergschrund — a type of crevasse

Bezoar — a small hard, solid mass which may form in the stomachs of animals such as goats or sheep

Bibliopole — a person who buys and sells books, especially rare ones

Bilboes — an iron bar with sliding shackles, used to fasten prisoners’ ankles

Bindlestiff — a tramp

Bingle — informal a collision

Blatherskite — a person who talks at great length without making much sense

Bleeding edge — the very forefront of technological development

Blind pig — informal a place where alcoholic drinks are sold illegally

Bobsy-die — a great deal of fuss or trouble

Boffola — informal a joke that gets a loud or hearty laugh

Boilover — informal a surprise result in a sporting event

Borborygmus — a rumbling or gurgling noise in the intestines

Breatharian — a person who believes that it is possible, through meditation, to reach a level of consciousness where one can exist on air alone

Brobdingnagian — gigantic, from Brobdingnag, a country in Jonathan Swift’sGulliver’s Travels

Bruxism — involuntary and habitual grinding of the teeth

Bumbo — a drink of rum, sugar, water, and nutmeg

Burnsides — a mustache in combination with whiskers on the cheeks but no beard on the chin

Cacoethes — an urge to do something inadvisable

Callipygian — having shapely buttocks

Callithumpian — like a discordant band or a noisy parade

Camisado — a military attack carried out at night

Canorous — melodious or resonant

Cantillate — to chant or intone a passage of religious text

Unique Words

Carphology — convulsive or involuntary movements made by delirious patients, such as plucking at the bedclothes

Catoptromancy — foretelling the future by means of a mirror

Cereology — the study or investigation of crop circles

Cerulean — deep sky blue

Chad — a piece of waste paper produced by punching a hole

Chalkdown — informal a teachers’ strike

Chanticleer — a rooster in a fairy tale

Chiliad — a thousand things or a thousand years

Claggy — ialect sticky or able to form sticky lumps

Clepsydra — an early clock using the flow of water into or out of a container

Colporteur — a person who peddles books, newspapers, or other writings, especially bibles and religious tracts

Comess — a confused or noisy situation

Commensalism — an association between two organisms in which one benefits from the relationship and the other derives neither harm nor benefit

Comminatory — threatening, punitive, or vengeful

Concinnity — elegance or neatness of literary or artistic style

Congius — an ancient Roman liquid measure equal in modern terms to about 6 imperial pints

Conniption (or conniption fit) — informal a fit of rage or hysterics

Constellate — to gather together in a cluster or group

Coprolalia — the involuntary repetitive use of obscene language

Coriaceous — like leather

Couthy — Scottish (of a person) warm and friendly; (of a place) cosy and comfortable

Criticaster — a minor or incompetent critic

Crore — ten million

Crottle — a lichen used in Scotland to make a brownish dye for wool

Croze — a groove at the end of a cask or barrel in which the head is fixed

Cryptozoology — the search for and study of animals whose existence is unproven, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti

Cudbear — a purple or violet powder used for dyeing, made from lichen

Cupreous — of or like copper

Cyanic — blue; azure

Cybersquatting — the practice of registering well-known names as Internet domain names, in the hope of reselling them at a profit

Dariole — a small round metal mould used in French cooking for an individual sweet or savory dish

Deasil — clockwise or in the direction of the sun’s course

Decubitus — the posture of someone who is lying down or lying in bed

Deedy — industrious or effective

Defervescence — the lessening of a fever

Deglutition — the action or process of swallowing

Degust — to taste food or drink carefully, so as to fully appreciate it

Deipnosophist — a person skilled in the art of dining and dinner-table conversation

Deracinate — to tear something up by the roots

Deterge — to cleanse something thoroughly

Didi — an older sister or female cousin

Digerati — people with expertise or professional involvement in information technology

Dight — clothed or equipped; also, to make something ready for use

Discobolus — a discus thrower in ancient Greece

Disembogue — to emerge or pour out (used of a river or stream)

Disenthral — to set someone free from enslavement

Divagate — to stray or digress

Divaricate — to stretch or spread apart

Donkey engine — a small auxiliary engine on a ship

Donkeyman — a man working in a ship’s engine room

Doryphore — a pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic of others

Dotish — stupid or silly

Douceur — a financial inducement or bribe

Draff — dregs or refuse

Dragoman — an interpreter or professional guide for travellers, especially one in countries in which Arabic, Turkish, or Persian is spoken

Dumbsize — to reduce the staff numbers of a company to such low levels that work can no longer be carried out effectively

Dwaal — a dreamy, dazed, or absent-minded state

Ecdysiast — a striptease performer

Edacious — having to do with eating or fond of eating

Effable — able to be described in words.

Emacity — fondness for buying things

Emmetropia — the normal condition of the eye: perfect vision

Empasm — a perfumed powder sprinkled on the body to prevent sweating or for medicinal purposes

Ensorcell — to enchant or fascinate someone

Entomophagy — the eating of insects, especially by people

Erf — a plot of land

Ergometer — an apparatus which measures energy expended during physical exercise

Erubescent — reddening or blushing

E-tailer — a retailer who sells goods on the Internet

Etui — a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles

Eucatastrophe — a happy ending to a story

Eurhythmic — in harmonious proportion

Eviternity — eternal existence or everlasting duration

Exequies — funeral rites

Exsanguine — bloodless or anaemic

Extramundane — outside or beyond the physical world

Eyewater — W. Indian tears

Famulus — an assistant or attendant, especially one working for a magician or scholar

Fankle — Scottish to tangle or entangle something

Fipple — the mouthpiece of a recorder or similar wind instrument

Flatline — to die

Flews — the thick pendulous lips of a bloodhound or similar dog

Floccinaucinihilipilification — the action or habit of estimating something as worthless (a word generally only quoted as a curiosity)

Flocculent — having or resembling tufts of wool

Force-ripe — West Indian old or mature in certain respects without having developed fully in others

Forehanded — prudent or thrifty

Frondeur — a political rebel

Fugacious — transient or fleeting

Funambulist — a tightrope walker

Furuncle — a boil

Fuscous — dark and sombre in colour

Futhark — the Scandinavian runic alphabet

Futz — to waste time or busy oneself aimlessly

Gaberlunzie — archaic a beggar

Gaita — a kind of bagpipe played in northern Spain and Portugal

Galligaskins — a type of loose breeches worn in the 16th and 17th centuries

Gallus — Scottish bold or daring

Gasconade — extravagant boasting

Glabrous — (of skin) hairless or (of a leaf) having no down

Glaikit — foolish, or thoughtless

Gnathic — having to do with the jaws

Gobemouche — a gullible or credulous listener

Goodfella — a gangster, especially a member of a Mafia family

Guddle — Scottish to fish with one’s hands by groping under the stones or banks of a stream

Habile — deft or skilful

Hallux — Anatomy the big toe

Haruspex — a religious official in ancient Rome who inspected the entrails of sacrificial animals in order to foretell the future

Higgler — a person who travels from place to place selling small items

Hinky — US informal dishonest, suspect, or unreliable

Hoddy-noddy — a foolish person

Hodiernal — of today

Hoggin — a mixture of sand and gravel, used especially in road-building

Hongi — a traditional Maori greeting or salutation made by pressing or touching noses

Howff — a favourite meeting place or haunt, especially a pub

Humdudgeon — an imaginary illness

Hunt-and-peck — using only one or two fingers on a computer keyboard

Hwyl — a stirring feeling of emotional motivation and energy which is associated with the Welsh people

Illywhacker — informal a small-time confidence trickster

Incrassate — thickened in form or consistency

Incunabula — books printed before 1501

Ingurgitate — to swallow something greedily

Inspissate — to thicken or congeal

Inunct — to apply ointment to someone or something

Jumbuck — Austral. informal a sheep

Jumentous — resembling horse’s urine

Jungli — Indian uncultured or wild

Karateka — a person who performs karate

Keek — to peep surreptitiously

Kenspeckle — conspicuous or easily recognizable

Kinnikinnick — a substance consisting of dried sumac leaves and willow or dogwood bark, smoked by North American Indians

Labarum — a banner or flag bearing symbolic motifs

Lactarium — a dairy

Liripipe — the long dangling tail of a medieval academic hood

Loblolly — a North American pine tree with very long slender needles

Lobola — among southern African peoples, the money or cattle given by a bridegroom’s family to the bride’s family

Logomachy — an argument about words

Lollygag — to spend time in an aimless or lazy way

Luculent — (of speech or writing) clearly expressed

Lycanthropy — the supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf

Macushla — an affectionate form of address

Mallam — a learned man or scribe in Nigeria and other parts of Africa

Mamaguy — to try to deceive someone by flattering them or telling them lies

Martlet — a small, swallow-like bird with tufts of feathers in place of legs and feet

Mazel tov — a Jewish expression used to congratulate someone or wish them good luck

Meacock — a coward or effeminate person

Merkin — an artificial covering of hair for the pubic area

Merrythought — a bird’s wishbone

Mim — modest or demure in an affected or priggish way

Mimsy — rather feeble and prim or over-restrained (coined by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass)

Minacious — menacing or threatening

Minibeast — informal a small invertebrate animal such as an insect or spider

Misogamy — the hatred of marriage

Mistigris — a joker or other extra card played as a wild card in some versions of poker

Mixologist — informal a person who is skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks

Mollitious — luxurious or sensuous

Momism — excessive attachment to or domination by one’s mother

Monkey’s wedding — simultaneous rain and sunshine

Monorchid — having only one testicle

Moonraker — a native of the county of Wiltshire

Mouse potato — a person who spends large amounts of their leisure or working time on a computer

Mudlark — a person who scavenges in riverside mud at low tide for anything of value

Muktuk — the skin and blubber of a whale, eaten by the Inuit people

Mumpsimus — a traditional custom or notion that is adhered to although it has been shown to be unreasonable

Nacarat — a bright orange-red colour

Nagware — computer software which is free for a trial period and thereafter frequently reminds the user to pay for it

Nainsook — a fine, soft cotton fabric, originally made in the Indian subcontinent

Natation — swimming

Nesh — dialect weak, delicate, or feeble

Netizen — a habitual or keen user of the Internet

Noctambulist — a sleepwalker

Noyade — an execution carried out by drowning

Nugacity — triviality or frivolity

Nympholepsy — passion or rapture aroused in men by beautiful young girls

Obnubilate — to darken, dim, or obscure something

Ogdoad — a group or set of eight

Omophagy — the eating of raw food, especially meat

Omphalos — the centre or hub of something

Onolatry — the worship of donkeys or asses

Operose — involving or displaying a lot of effort

Opsimath — a person who begins to learn or study late in life

Orectic — having to do with desire or appetite

Orrery — a clockwork model of the solar system, or the sun, earth, and moon

Ortanique — a cross between an orange and a tangerine

Otalgia — earache

Oxter — a person’s armpit

Paludal — living or occurring in a marshy habitat

Pantagruelian — enormous

Panurgic — able or ready to do anything

Parapente — an aerofoil parachute, used for gliding

Paraph — a flourish after a signature

Patulous — (of the boughs of a tree, for example) spreading

Pavonine — to do with or resembling a peacock

Pedicular — to do with lice

Peely-wally — looking pale and unwell

Peever — hopscotch

Periapt — an item worn as a charm or amulet

Petcock — a small valve in a steam engine or boiler, used for drainage or for reducing pressure

Peterman — a person who breaks open and robs safes

Pettitoes — pig’s trotters, especially as food

Piacular — making or requiring atonement

Pilgarlic — a bald-headed man, or a person regarded with mild contempt

Pinguid — resembling fat; oily or greasy

Piscatorial — connected with fishermen or fishing

Pleurodynia — severe pain in the muscles between the ribs or in the diaphragm

Plew — a beaver skin

Pneumonoul­tramicrosc­opicsilico­volcanocon­iosis — an invented term said to mean ‘a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand
dust’, but rarely used except for its curiosity value

Pogey — Canadian informal unemployment or welfare benefit

Pollex — Anatomy the thumb

Pooter — a suction bottle for collecting insects and other small invertebrates

Portolan — a book containing sailing directions with hand-drawn charts and descriptions of harbors and coasts

Posology — the branch of medicine concerned with the size and frequency of doses of a medicine or a drug

Possident — a possessor, i.e. a person who owns something

Pother — a commotion or fuss

Pre-loved — second-hand

Presenteeism — the compulsion to spend longer at work than is required or to continue working despite illness

Previse — to foresee or predict an event

Probang — a strip of flexible material with a sponge or tuft at the end, used to remove a foreign body from the throat or to apply medication to it

Prosopagnosia — an inability to recognize the faces of familiar people, typically as a result of brain damage

Puddle jumper — A small, light aircraft which is fast and highly manoeuvrable and used for short trips

Puddysticks — children’s word very easy

Pyknic — a technical description of a stocky physique with a rounded body and head, thickset trunk, and a tendency to fat

Pyroclastic — relating to fragments of rock erupted by a volcano

Ragtop — a convertible car with a soft roof

Ratite — (of a bird such as the ostrich or emu) unable to fly because of having a flat breastbone, to which no flight muscles are attached

Rawky — foggy, damp, and cold

Razzia — a raid carried out by Moors in North Africa

Rebirthing — a form of therapy involving controlled breathing and intended to simulate the trauma of being born

Resurrection man — a person who, in past times, illicitly exhumed corpses from burial grounds and sold them to anatomists for dissection

Retiform — resembling a net

Rhinoplasty — plastic surgery performed on the nose

Rubiginous — rust-coloured

Rubricate — to add elaborate capital letters (typically red ones) or other decorations to a manuscript

Rug rat — a child

Rumpot — a habitual or heavy drinker

Sangoma — a traditional healer or witch doctor in southern Africa

Sarmie — informal a sandwich

Saucier — a sauce chef

Saudade — a feeling of longing or melancholy that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament

Scofflaw — a person who flouts the law

Screenager — a person in their teens or twenties who has an aptitude for using computers and the Internet

Scrippage — one’s baggage and personal belongings

Selkie — a mythical sea creature like a seal in water but human on land

Serac — a pinnacle or ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier

Sesquipedalian — (of a word) having many syllables or (of a piece of writing) using many long words

Shallop — a light sailing boat used chiefly for coastal fishing

Shamal — a hot, dry north-westerly wind that blows across the Persian Gulf in summer and causes sandstorms

Shavetail — US military slang a newly commissioned officer, or any inexperienced person

Shippon — dialect a cattle shed

Shofar — a ram’s-horn trumpet used in Jewish religious ceremonies and, in ancient times, to sound a battle signal

Skanky — informal revolting

Skelf — a splinter or sliver of wood

Skimmington — a kind of procession once undertaken to make an example of a nagging wife or an unfaithful husband

Skycap — a porter at an airport

Snakebitten — informal unlucky or doomed to misfortune

Snollygoster — a shrewd or unprincipled person

Sockdolager — US informal a heavy blow

Solander — a protective box made in the form of a book, for holding items such as botanical specimens, maps, and colour plates

Soucouyant — a kind of witch, in eastern Caribbean folklore, who is believed to shed her skin by night and suck the blood of her victims

Soul case — the human body

Soul catcher — a hollowed bone tube used by a North American Indian medicine man to keep a sick person’s soul safe while they are sick

Spaghettification — the process by which (in some theories) an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces on falling into a black hole

Spitchcock — an eel, split and then grilled or fried

Splanchnic — having to do with the the viscera or internal organs, especially those of the abdomen

Spurrier — a person who makes spurs

Stercoraceous — consisting of or resembling dung or faeces

Sternutator — something that causes sneezing

Stiction — the frictional force which hinders an object from being moved while in contact with another

Strappado — a punishment or torture in which the victim was hoisted in the air on a rope and then allowed to fall almost to the ground before being stopped with an abrupt jerk

Strigil — an instrument with a curved blade used by ancient Greeks and Romans to scrape sweat and dirt from the skin in a hot-air bath or after exercise

Struthious — having to do with or resembling an ostrich

Studmuffin — humorous a sexually attractive, muscular man

Stylite — a early Christian ascetic who lived standing on top of a pillar

Subfusc — the dark formal clothing worn for examinations and ceremonial or formal occasions at some universities

Submontane — passing under or through mountains, or situated on the lower slopes of a mountain range

Succuss — to shake something vigorously, especially a homeopathic remedy

Sudd — an area of floating vegetation that impedes navigation in a stretch of the White Nile

Suedehead — a youth like a skinhead but with slightly longer hair and smarter clothes

Sun-grazing — (of a comet) having an orbit which passes close to the sun

Superbious — proud and overbearing

Superette — a small supermarket

Taniwha — a mythical monster which, according to Maori legend, lives in very deep water

Tappen — the plug by which the rectum of a bear is closed during hibernation

Tellurian — of or inhabiting the earth, or an inhabitant of the earth

Testudo — a device used in siege warfare in ancient Rome, consisting of a wheeled screen with an arched roof (literally a ‘tortoise’)

Thalassic — relating to the sea

Thaumatrope — a scientific toy devised in the 19th century. It consisted of a disc with a different picture on each of its two sides: when the disc was rotated rapidly about a diameter, these pictures appeared to combine into one image.

Thirstland — a desert or large arid area

Thrutch — Na narrow gorge or ravine

Thurifer — a person carrying a censer, or thurible, of burning incense during religious ceremonies

Tiffin — chiefly Indian a light meal, especially lunch

Tigon — the hybrid off spring of a male tiger and a lioness (the offspring of a male lion and a tigress being a liger)

Tokoloshe — in African folklore, a mischievous and lascivious hairy water sprite

toplofty — informal haughty and arrogant

Transpicuous — transparent

Triskaidekaphobia — extreme superstition about the number thirteen

Triskelion — a Celtic symbol consisting of three radiating legs or curved lines, such as the emblem of the Isle of Man

Tsantsa — a human head shrunk as a war trophy by the Jivaro people of Ecuador

Turbary — the legal right to cut turf or peat for fuel on common ground or on another person’s ground

Ulu — a short-handled knife with a broad crescent-shaped blade, used by Inuit women

Umbriferous — shady

Uncinate — (of a part of the body) having a hooked shape

Uniped — a person or animal with only one foot or leg

Uroboros — a circular symbol depicting a snake (or a dragon) swallowing its tail, intended as an emblem of wholeness or infinity

Ustad — Indian an expert or highly skilled person, especially a musician

Vagarious — erratic and unpredictable in behavior or direction

Velleity — a wish or inclination which is not strong enough to lead one to take action

Verjuice — a sour juice obtained from crab apples or unripe grapes

Vicinal — neighbouring or adjacen

Vidiot — informal a habitual, undiscriminating watcher of television or videotapes

Vomitous — nauseating or repulsive

Wabbit — Scottish exhausted or slightly unwell

Waitron — a waiter or waitress

Wakeboarding — the sport of riding on a short, wide board while being towed behind a motor boat

Wayzgoose — an annual summer party and outing that used to be held by a printing house for all its employees

Winebibber — a heavy drinker

Wittol — a man who knows of and tolerates his wife’s infidelity

Woopie — an affluent retired person able to pursue an active lifestyle (from the initials of well-off older person)

Wowser — chiefly Austral./NZ a puritanical, prudish person or a killjoy

Xenology — the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomena

Ylem — (in big bang theory) the primordial matter of the universe

Zetetic — proceeding by inquiry or investigation

Zoolatry — the worship of animals

Zopissa — a medicinal preparation made from wax and pitch scraped from the sides of ships

Zorro — a South American kind of fox

Zyrian — a former term for Komi, a language spoken in an area of Russia west of the Urals; at present the last entry in the Oxford English Dictionary Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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