BRUMOUS Synonym for foggy, wintry, from Latin bruma. Neither rare nor in common usage, brumous suggests to this lexicographer a dun, morose landscape in a Thomas Hardy poem, or the “frumious” climate in Lewis Carroll’s poem “Jabberwocky.” Brumous weather is not stormy but rather misty-moisty and rheumy.
CHAOSTICIST believer in, and promulgator of, the doctrine of ultimate disorder. Chaosticists are fatalists. For them history is an unbroken tale of fuck-ups and catastrophes. They relish what they deplore. Chaosticists are doomsters.
Henry Adams was a Chaosticist Supreme.
DAYMARE Nightmares are conventionally attended by witches and devils and occur in darkness. Not so daymares, which take place in the light and can even be morning events. ("After his orange juice, he had a daymore." Or, "The daymare pranced gaily through the sunlit window and soared over him.")
Yet these playful associations belie the daymare's chilling terror. Daymares are more blatant and invasive than nightmares, their gaiety at once shamless and gruesome.
FOSSICK A mining term probably of Australian origin. To fossick means to search for gold in abandoned workings, or to dig out a crevice, or (more loosely) to rummage through or ferret out, or to look around for salvageable materials.
Hence trash collectors and junk peddlers are fossickers. And so are scholars who sift letters and notebooks and journals in libraries and chophouses in search of buried cultural treasures. Columnists and investigariung reportes can be fossickers, too.
GARBOIL An archaic word for confusion, uproar, hubbub, tumult, brouhaha, rhubarb, brawl. We can’t have too many words for social disorder in these garboilish times.
GRESSORIAL A pastoral word. It means adapted for walking, or having limbs adapted for walking. Flightless birds are gressorial. (From Latin gressus, "step," from past participle gradi, "to walk.")
Henry David Thoreau was gressorial.
WalkeUr and talker
His legs gressorial,
His range territorial.
IGNORIAH A minor prophet in the time of Jeremiah. His prophecies always turned out to be the opposite of what he predicted or warned against, yet undeterred he continued to pronounce his Ignoriads.
Hence Ignoriah is the namesake of all bumbling vaticinators.
KAKISTOCRACY "Government by the worst," a handy angry-sounding word that defines the state of affairs in many countries. The world has long suffered from anafractuous (full of twists and turns) kakistocracies. and no less so today. Even United States officials, in the opinion of some cynical and disenchanted people, appear to be little more than a horridge (nest of bad characters).
SMOUCHER Walt Whitman's word for one who "deceives, chetas, or pilfers." Smouchers aren't confined to any particular class or occupation or physical type (although they are often fancied as heavy men with jowls) and in general look pretty much like the rest of us. However, they are morally tettered (scaled or patched) and spiritually akin to roorbacks (spreaders of political lies) and to makebates (instigators of discord and strife).
Smouchers are thoroughly corrupt at birth and leak poison.
ULLAGE A commercial term signifying "the difference between between the full capacity of a cask and its actual contents." Ullage is also a synonym for unfulfilled potentiality. For example, I might write in a letter about a prospective candidate: "John Smith is a reliable producer. Nonetheless, I find the percentage of ullage in his record to be disappointingly high."
YET In meaning and connotation, "yet" is cousin to moreover, besides, still, nevertheless, all the same. It is the most forgiving and unfanatical word in the language. It stands for the margin of pardon, for the excusatory against the accusatory.
ZUZIMS Zuzims, Swedenborg explains, are "a race similar to Naphilims," namely "those who, through a persuasion of their own height and preeminence set at naught whatever is holy or true."
Vintage Zuzims speak in the tongues of the super-rich televangelists, salespeople, public entertainers, pundits, and doctrinaires.
(from Daniel’s Dictionary: A Handbook for Metaphor, compiled and annotated by Daniel Aaron, privately printed, 2008).