The Dictionary Obscura: Unique Words and Interesting Grammar

Hello! You’ve stumbled into the Dictionary Obscura, my blog for obscure, unique, and rare words, strange facets of grammar, and odd punctuation! I have been collecting words and doing deep dives of grammar for years and I am excited to share with you all I have found! Please do explore the page. I hope it expands your vocabulary and understanding of grammar as it did for me!

  • The Dictionary Obscura: Coruscate

    The Dictionary Obscura: Coruscate

    Definition: (v.) to flash, to sparkle, to glitter. Synonyms:gleam; glistenAntonyms: Etymology: from Latin coruscatus, past participle of coruscare “to vibrate, glitter”.

  • Garden Path Sentences

    Garden Path Sentences

    Illusory sentences that lead you down the “garden path”. A Garden Path Sentence is a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a manner as to confuse the reader on some aspect of the sentence. “Garden path” refers to the saying “to be led down [or up] the garden path”, meaning to be deceived, tricked,…

  • The Dictionary Obscura: Peregrinate

    The Dictionary Obscura: Peregrinate

    Definition: (v.) to travel, especially on foot; to walk Synonyms:to journeyAntonyms:to remain Etymology: from Latin peregrinatus, past participle of peregrinari “to travel abroad, be alien,” figuratively “to wander, roam, travel about,” from peregrinus “from foreign parts, foreigner,” from peregre “abroad,” properly “from abroad, found outside Roman territory,” from per “away” + agri, locative of ager…

  • Adverbial Sentences, Phrases, and Clauses

    Adverbial Sentences, Phrases, and Clauses

    Adverbial Sentences Adverbial Sentences are sentences that start with an adverb. This may seem easy to understand at a first glance. After all, starting sentences with adverbs is something we do all the time! Take a look at these two sentences: The first sentence places emphasis on the action of creeping up the stairs.  The…

  • The Dictionary Obscura: Susurrus

    The Dictionary Obscura: Susurrus

    Definition: (n.) a whispering or rustling sound. Synonyms:whisper; murmur; rustlingAntonyms:roar; scream;  Etymology: from Latin susurrationem, noun of action from past-participle stem of susurrare “to hum, murmur,” from susurrus “a murmur, whisper.” This is held to be a reduplication of a PIE imitative swer- “to buzz, whisper”.

  • The Dictionary Obscura: Saturnine

    The Dictionary Obscura: Saturnine

    Definition: cold and steady in mood; of gloomy or surly disposition Synonyms:depressed; cheerlessAntonyms:joyous; jocose Etymology: from Middle English Saturne + –ine. Obscure Fact: Old medicine believed these characteristics to be caused or influenced by the astrological influence of the planet Saturn, which was the most remote from the Sun (in the knowledge of the times)…

  • The Dictionary Obscura: Scripturient

    The Dictionary Obscura: Scripturient

    Definition: having a strong urge to write. Etymology: late Latin scripturient-, scripturiens, present participle of scripturire to desire to write, desiderative of Latin scribere.