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Definition: one who is presumptuous and offers advice or opinions beyond one’s sphere of knowledge.
The meaning of this word comes from a story in antiquity, in which the famed Greek painter Apelles one day heard a cobbler criticizing the way he had rendered a foot in a painting.
Hence, an ultracrepidarian is one who, as a shoemaker might, goes “beyond the sole,” and offers advice on matters they perhaps should leave alone.
Definition: one given to finding out and getting invited to good feasts.
The smell-feast is a distinctive kind of sponger; not one who imposes on friends for lodging and money, but rather focuses their efforts on being invited to dinner. We have all of us known a smell-feast, even if we lacked the word with which to describe this particular creature.
Base fawning Smell-feast, I beleeve thou art Shrewdly distemper’d both in head and heart; Thy wits are dreggish, and thy spirits dull and restive, c’ause thy belly’s always full.
Definition: a contemptible unmannerly person.
English is a language that contains an embarrassment of riches when one wants to say something mean about someone else. If you need to refer to a contemptible person you may choose from blighter, cockloche, dandiprat, dirtbag, dogbolt, shagrag, stinkard ... you get the picture.
So why do we need smatchet? Well, because there are a lot of contemptible people out there.
Definition: an affectedly nice person, a fop.
Prickmedainty, a word that has primarily been used in Northern England and Scotland, may be employed as either a noun or an adjective. It comes from compounding three words, which are exactly the ones you would expect: prick, me, and dainty. When the word first began to be used in the early 16th century it had more of a sense of “someone who cares overmuch about his clothing or appearance.”
Definition: one who insincerely professes love for the sake of gain.
This delightful term is fashioned from the earlier noun cupboard love. This Kind of Love is frequently seen among certain Gentlemen at Counry Quarters, the Curates in City Parishes, Attornies Clerks, and young Barrister, and may, doubtless, descend to all Persons who have larger Stomachs than Purses.
Definition: a ponderous clumsy person.
Fustilugs is one of those words that do a certain amount to renew one’s faith in the notion that English language makes sense.
Definition: a worthless person or thing; one who cumbers the world.
Some words are examples of their definition; sesquipedalian, a word which means “having many syllables” may be used to describe itself. It is unclear why such a useful word for describing useless things should have fallen into disuse and obscurity.
Cumber-world and the considerably more common adjective cumbersome both come from the verb cumber, which originally meant “to destroy utterly”, but also has the sense of “to hinder”.
Definition: a silly flighty person.
Flibbertigibbet is one of many incarnations of the Middle English word flepergebet, meaning "gossip" or "chatterer." (Others include "flybbergybe," "flibber de' Jibb," and "flipperty-gibbet.")
It is a word of onomatopoeic origin, created from sounds that were intended to represent meaningless chatter. Shakespeare apparently saw a devilish aspect to a gossipy chatterer; he used "flibbertigibbet" as the name of a devil in King Lear.
Definition: one who excessively strives for knowledge, or has a preoccupation with it.
A person who loves knowledge is a thing of beauty. However, a person who loves knowledge just a bit too much can quickly transition from “thing of beauty” to “person you’d really rather not sit next to at a dinner party.”
The epistemophiliac is the sort of person who falls into the latter category. The word is a fairly recent addition to our language, appearing in the middle of the 20th century.
Definition: a religious fanatic.
Berndt Knipperdolling was a prominent Anabaptist (a member of a sect of 16th century Protestants who advocated the baptism and church membership of adult believers only), born in Munich at the end of the 15th century.
Knipperdolling’s religious views were not shared by some authorities, and he came to an untimely end as a result of them. While initially knipperdolling was simply used as a term for an Anabaptist, it came to later take on the connotation of religious fanaticism.
Every effort has been made to ensure that 'Did You Know' facts published are factual and correct. Sorry for any inconvenience.
'Smatchet', 'fustilugs', & other words for people who get on your nerves.
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