Exploring Uncommon Words: Part One

Author: Brian Bowman

Date Published: 28 September 2023

The English language is a treasure trove of linguistic wonders, containing a plethora of words that range from the everyday to the esoteric. While most of us are familiar with the common words that pepper our conversations, there exists a hidden realm of uncommon words that add a touch of flair and sophistication to our vocabulary. In this blog article, we will embark on a linguistic adventure to explore some of the most uncommon and fascinating words found in the English dictionary.

Scrabble Tiles


Have you ever noticed the earthy scent that follows a refreshing rain shower? That pleasant aroma has a name - petrichor. Coined from two Greek words, "petra" (stone) and "ichor" (the fluid that flows through the veins of the gods), petrichor refers to the distinct fragrance that arises when raindrops interact with dry soil and rocks, releasing trapped oils and compounds.

Example: After the storm, the petrichor filled the air, bringing a sense of renewal and tranquility to the parched land.


Limerence describes the intense emotional state of infatuation and obsession that one person feels towards another. This word delves into the all-consuming nature of a crush or an initial romantic attraction.

Example: Julie experienced limerence whenever she caught a glimpse of her charming neighbor, feeling butterflies in her stomach every time he smiled.


An odd and rarely used word, defenestration refers to the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. While its occurrence is uncommon in real-life situations, it has historical significance, particularly in the Czech history where the Defenestration of Prague played a pivotal role in sparking the Thirty Years' War.

Example: The ancient castle was witness to many acts of defenestration, as rival factions fought for power and control.


Derived from Greek roots, philoprogenitive describes a fondness or propensity for procreation and a love for children or offspring.

Example: Mary's philoprogenitive nature led her to adopt three children and foster several others, providing a loving home to those in need.


Celebrating the beauty of the human body, callipygian describes someone with well-shaped, attractive buttocks. The term finds its origin in ancient Greek art, where sculptures of curvaceous derrières were revered.

Example: The artist skillfully captured the callipygian features of the model, creating a mesmerizing sculpture that celebrated the human form.


Hailing from Louisiana Creole, lagniappe refers to a small gift or bonus, an unexpected extra added to a purchase or a generous gesture to show appreciation.

Example: The kind shopkeeper offered a lagniappe of a handcrafted bookmark with every purchase, leaving customers delighted with their shopping experience.


Language, as a constantly evolving entity, constantly amazes us with its richness and versatility. These uncommon words found in the English dictionary are but a few examples of the linguistic gems that await exploration. By incorporating these unique terms into our daily lexicon, we can infuse our conversations and writing with a delightful charm, elevating our language to new heights and showcasing the vastness of human expression. So, let us embrace these uncommon words and celebrate the richness of the English language together!