Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Aphabe Thursday ~ 11-11-10 ~ The Letter "F"

Back when I was still REALLY teaching middle school, I always had a "Word of the Day" up on the blackboard for my students to discuss and then enter into their reference guides. For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by new and unusual words, so this week I decided to borrow the BIG dictionary from our library and look for “H" words which were unknown to me, sounded sort of neat, and ones whose definitions were interesting. Here we go, and at the end of each definition I have added a little commentary of my own.

holt -  n. wooded hill or rise; a planted grove of willows ~ In our neck of the woods “holt" is used like this....”Don’t holt me up, Ms R, ‘cause I’m gonna  miss the bus!”

howdah - n. a seat or covered pavillion on the back of an elephant or camel ~ I am so glad to finally find out what those little carriage thingies are called...pretty cool name if you ask me!

hydriotaphia - n. burial  in an urn ~ Now this one is really wierd. Are my parents “hydriotaphias” because they are buried in urns...or...were their graveside services hydriotaphias? I am really befuddled with this one.

hyoid - n. shaped like the letter upsilon; having a "u" shape; a bone that is situated at the base of the tongue and developed from the second and third visceral arches supporting the tongue and its muscles ~The “U” shape definition is understandable, but geeze...I never realized I had a “U” shaped bone in my tongue.

hyperphagia -n. an abnormaly increased desire for food frequently resulting from injury to the hypothalamus ~ I’ve not had any injuries to my hypothalamus, but from time to time I certainly am consumed with hyperphagia.

hent - v. to lay hold on; seize; catch; to take away; carry off ~ Let’s see. I am going to “hent” this nasty mosquito and send it off ‘a flyin’!

hircismus - n. having smelly armpits ~ Wait...I thought that was B.O. The next time some boy comes in my room after PE sweaty and smelling so awful I think I am going to get sick, I will tell him he has a serious “hircismus” problem. Then I will hand him the stinky “man deodorant” and send him on his way to the bathroom to remedy the situation.

hobblehehoy - n. awkward adplescent male; a gawky youth ~ Boy, do I see a lot of these. I think this one is a very comical sounding word.

halation - n. the spreading of light beyond its proper boundaries in a developed photographic image (as around a window facing the sky in an interior view or around other bright objects) ~ Have any of you photographers out there ever heard of this one? It is certainly new to me.

hapax - n. something said only once; a word or form occuring one and only once in a document ~ As a former English teacher, I really liked this one. It’s another cool word with an even cooler meaning.

hummock - n - a ridge or pile of ice in an ice field or ice floe ~ When I first saw this one, all I could think of was....”Oh, dear, he just ran “hummock.” Only kidding! LOL

hebdomad - n. dullness; lethargy; the absence of mental alertness or physical sensitivity ~ Oh, my goodness? The dullness and mental alertness bit hits right at home with me at age 71...not so good..

heliosis - n. to be exposed to the sun; be sunburned ~ “Halitosis” I have heard of, but “heliosis.” I think the mean ing should be...the state of being filled with hot air!

hendiadys - n. the expression of an idea by two nouns connected by and  (as cups and gold instead of by a noun and an adjective (as golden cup) ~ This is another one of those new words that fascinates an old English teacher...don’t think I ever knowingly used a “hendiadys,” but now I think I will give it a try.

hebdomad - n. a period of seven days; week ~ I think the word “week” makes a lot more sense than this new one, but it is a neat word to throw out there to confuse someone.

hegumen - n. the head of a religious order (as a small monastery or nunnery) in the Eastern church ~ I cannot imagine calling the Mother Superior "Hegumen Anne Catherine” glad here in the western world we use  “Mother” or “Mother Superior.” are done! That’s it for this week. Be sure to study these words ‘cause there just might well be a pop quiz next Thursday.

Happy Alphabe Thursday to all of you happy little students of Miss Jenny. Hope you all learned at least one new and interesting word to add to your vocabulary.

Be sure to stop by Jenny’s blog ~ Jenny Matlock ~ to view more entries for the 
letter “H”.


  1. I find these words very interesting too! I'm a reading specialist, so words are very interesting to me as well! Great post!

  2. I never had to do this in school. I understand it is practiced in most school now. I enjoyed reading your post.

  3. I agree with you on hapax, but How on earth would you ever use that in a document? These are fun words -- it reminds me of watching the National spelling bee and feeling a bit dumb because I haven't heard the words they are giving to school kids -- and they are supposed to spell these words! Joni

  4. I agree with you on hapax, but How on earth would you ever use that in a document? These are fun words -- it reminds me of watching the National spelling bee and feeling a bit dumb because I haven't heard the words they are giving to school kids -- and they are supposed to spell these words! Joni

  5. Hobblehehoy....made me laugh out loud too :)

  6. have a great sense of humor. I love finding out the definitions of new words and where they come from, but I have to say that I liked some of your definitions and uses of the words better. Especially the stinky armpit word. Good one!

  7. The Lexington Lexicon has just increased my vocab enormously

  8. I love interesting words! You have found some good ones.

  9. that was fun read...i liked it...

  10. What a wonderful list of words! I don't think I will be ready for the quiz.

  11. Absolutely loved this post. And as for your "mental alertness" at age 71, I'd say you're doing just fine!

    In fact, I have a feeling you could run circles around me, and I'm only 58!!


  12. hope this helps you. I had awful bad breath and tonsil stones. Thank god my only friend told me to check Oraltech Labs advice as it got rid of her bad breath and her post nasal drip. I've been following Oraltech Labs advice for about 4 months now and I feel much better, also at work people are not avoiding me anymore so it seems to have cured my bad breath as well, so good luck. Jenny NY

  13. The only ones I truly knew were hummock and howdah. Now why, oh why would I know those two? Trivia of a serious nature!

  14. OK, you and Sue both can run circles around me and I'm only 54!

    Yikes. I knew two words here. Period.

    I am feeling distinctly challenged by this post...and I will make it my goal this weekend to use at least five of them in a sentence and impress my husband!

    What a thought-provoking link to Alphabe-Thursday!

    And I will definitely need to study up before this particular quiz!

    Thanks for the great stop.


  15. What a wonderful collection of H words to know and learn. Thanks Genie!