caliginous \kuh-LIJ-uh-nuhs\, adjective:

Misty; dim; dark.

Caliginous has its source in the Latin caligo, “mist.”

I had a dream last night filled with women dancing in caliginous robes.


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ferret \FER-it\, verb:

1. To search out, discover, or bring to light.

1. Domesticated, usually red-eyed, and albinic variety of the polecat.

1. To drive out by using or as if using a ferret.

1. A narrow tape or ribbon, as of silk or cotton, used for binding, trimming, etc.

1. To harry, worry, or torment.

Ferret originates in the Latin furonem, both “cat” and “robber.” The verb form of ferret relates to the use of half-tame ferrets to kill rats and flush rabbits from burrows.

Geraldine Majors had a secret love for fur. She reserved an entire shelf of her grandiose walk-in closet for furs. One of her most prized possessions was a ferret fur coat that she fondly called “Perfection.”

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Nth \ENTH\, adjective:

1. Being the last in a series of infinitely decreasing or increasing values, amounts, etc.
2. (Of an item in a series of occurrences, planned events, things used, etc., that is thought of as being infinitely large) being the latest, or most recent.

Nth is the figurative use of the mathematical term indicating indefinite number, in which n is an abbreviation for number.

It was on the nth day of the nth month of the nth year, when Nina realized that she had reached the end of her life.

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replevy \ri-PLEV-ee\, verb:

To recover goods or chattels wrongfully taken or detained.

Replevy originates in the Old French replevir, “to bail out.”

It is time to replevy my productivity from the pit from whence it fell!

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horripilate \haw-RIP-uh-leyt\, verb:

To produce a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose flesh.

Horripilate is a compound of two Latin roots,horri-, “to bristle,” and pil-, “of hair.”

The thought of Sarah Palin as president of the United States makes me horripilate.

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liminal \LIM-uh-nl\, adjective:

Relating to the point beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced.

Liminal derives from the Latin limen, “threshold.”

Sometimes I envision how I would react to my mother’s death. These strange daydreams always strike me at unexpected times, in the liminal psychic regions of my mind.

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boondocks \BOON-doks\, noun:

1. A remote rural area (usually preceded by “the.”)
2. An uninhabited area with thick natural vegetation, as a backwoods or marsh.

Boondocks finds its way into English from the Tagalog word bundok, “mountain.” Adopted by occupying American soldiers in the Philippines to designate a “remote and wild place.”

Somewhere in the boondocks of Minnesota, a young man dreams of Paris.

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