21 Interesting Words From David Foster Wallace’s Vocabulary List

  1. aerobe—organism requiring oxygen to live
  2. afterclap—unexpected, often unpleasant sequel to a matter that had been considered closed
  3. anaclisis—psychological dependence on others; “anaclitic”
  4. apophasis—allusion to something by denying that it will be mentioned
  5. bistre—yellowish-brown color
  6. catadromous—living in freshwater but migrating to sea to breed
  7. ecotone—transitional zone between communities containing the characteristic species of each
  8. euphuism—ornate, allusive, overpoetic prose style
  9. gloze—minimize or underplay… “gloze” the embarrassing part
  10. muntin—strip of wood or metal that separates & holds various panes in a window, like a window w/ four individual panes arranged in a big rectangle, etc.
  11. nidifugous—leaving the nest shortly after hatching
  12. ocherous—moderate orange yellow
  13. ordurous—dungish or shitty
  14. patelliphobia—fear of bowls, cups, basins, and tubs
  15. peritrichous—having a band of cilia around the mouth as certain protozoans
  16. privity—secret, special knowledge between two or more people; (adj.) privitive
  17. serrate—having or forming a row of sharp little teethy things
  18. tarantism—disorder where you have uncontrollable need to dance
  19. tardive (adj.)—having symptoms that develop slowly or appear long after inception
  20. tenesmus—urgent but ineffectual attempt to pee or shit
  21. valetudinarian—sickly, weak, morbidly health-conscious person