More Scrabble words!

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I have completed Womersley’s introduction to the Decline and Fall.  The introduction provides some insights into Gibbon’s approach to thinking and writing about history in the context of the various intellectual currents of his day.  One point he makes repeatedly is that Gibbon did not slavishly follow any of the fashionable philosophies that subjugated facts to preconceived notions of how history occurs.  Rather, he followed facts and reason wherever they led.  For example, he emphatically rejected the idea of the “noble savage”, unflinchingly relating the cruelty of the tribal societies of Europe that helped break down the Western Roman Empire, and yet also points out cases where the “barbarian” leaders improved the state of affairs in parts of the Empire they wrested away from the Romans.  By the same token, despite his very harsh criticism of the Catholic church; yet, he describes the papacy of Pope Gregory I with great admiration.  As Womersley puts it:

There could be no better illustration of the extent by which Gibbon’s thought exceeded, in intellectual honesty and historical precision, that of the freethinkers and atheists in whose company, in his own time and in ours, he has been indiscriminately placed.

It also, as mentioned in the previous post, uses a lot of big words, or words that aren’t so much big as not heard in everyday conversation by those who don’t spend their lives with their nose in a book.  So here is another installment of great Scrabble words!

emplotment: The assembly  of a series of historical events into a narrative  with a plot (this one isn’t even in the OED; definition courtesy of

apothegm: A terse, pointed saying, embodying an important truth in few words.

stadial: Pertaining to or expressed in terms of a series of successive stages into which a culture or period can be divided

trope: A figure of speech which consists in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which is proper to it; also, in casual use, a figure of speech

coping-stone: One of the stones forming the uppermost course of masonry or brickwork in a wall

metonymy: The substitution for a word or phrase denoting an object, action, institution, etc., a word or phrase denoting a property or something associated with it

homoousian: Of the same essence or substance; co-essential, consubstantial

immiseration: The act of making or becoming progressively more miserable; pauperization, impoverishment

proleptic: Predictive, prognostic

velleity: The fact or quality of merely willing, wishing, or desiring, without any effort or advance towards action or realization.

filiation: The fact of being descended or derived, or of originating from; descent, transmission from

caducity: Tendency to fall; quality of being perishable or fleeting; transitoriness, frailty

lenify: To relax, make soft or supple (some part of the body); to render (cider) mellow. Also, to mitigate (a physical condition)


One Response to “More Scrabble words!”

  1. Scrabble Girl Says:

    I popped on back to your blog for more words to use for upcoming scrabble tourney. Have you stopped reading?

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