Sesquipedalian Words; Part One, 1-17
Sesquipedalia Verba or Sesquipedalians in Action
Etymologically, from Latin sesquipedalis; literally, a foot and a half long, from sesqui- + ped-, pes, foot. Date of origin in English is believed to be from 1656.
1. Having many syllables, long; as in “sesquipedalian terms”.
2. Given to or characterized by the use of long words; “a sesquipedalian political statement”.
3. Long and ponderous; polysyllabic.
4. Measuring or containing a foot and a half; as, a sesquipedalian pygmy; sometimes humorously applied to long words (as in the “Verba Obscura” shown below).
5. Given to the overuse of long words; as with “sesquipedalian political orators”.
A reference to the use of long words; especially when verbal construction utilizing less amplification might represent a more naturally efficacious phraseology, so as a result, we get verba obscura.
See if you can determine the meanings of the following sesquipedialian “common proverbs” or sayings before you look at the solutions.
Here are more examples of Sesquipedalians, in Part 2 of 2, 18-33.
- Verba Obscura #1
A lithoid form, whose onward course
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Is shaped by gravitational force,
Can scarce enjoy the consolation
Of bryophytic aggregation.
- Verba Obscura #2
Of little value his compunctions
Who assumes clavinous functions
When once from circumambient pen,
Is snatched its equine denizen.
It doesn’t do much good to lock the barn door after the horse is stolen.
Don’t lock the barn door after the horse is stolen.
- Verba Obscura #3
It’s possible to conduct an equine quadruped to the immediate vicinity of an aqueous liquid, but bibulation cannot be induced by any coercive process.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
- Verba Obscura #4
Subterranean entry port.
Manhole cover (on a street).
- Verba Obscura #5
A mass of concentrated geolithic or lapitarial material perennially rotating on its axis will not accumulate an accretion of muscus growth.
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Mr. Sussman wrote: "Are we a nation of dolts?" he inquired angrily. "Must we reduce every thought to a single paragraph of one-syllable words?"
- Verba Obscura #6
A superabundance of talent skilled in the preparation of gastronomic concoctions will impair the quality of a certain potable solution made by immersing a gallinaceous bird in ebullient Adam’s ale.
Too many cooks can spoil the broth.
- Verba Obscura #7
Individuals who perforce are constrained to be domiciled in vitreous structures of patent frangibility should on no account employ petrous formations as projectiles.
People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
- Verba Obscura #8
That prudent avis that matutinally deserts the coziness of its abode will ensnare a vermiculate creature.
The early bird catches the worm.
- Verba Obscura #9
Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous.
All that glitters is not gold.
- Verba Obscura #10
Do not dissipate your competence by hebetudinous prodigality lest you subsequently lament an exiguous inadequacy.
Waste not, want not.
- Verba Obscura 11
An addlepated beetlehead and his specie divaricate with startling prematurity.
A fool and his money are soon parted.
- Verba Obscura #12
It can be no other than a maleficent horizontally propelled current of gaseous matter whose portentous advent is not the harbinger of a modicum of beneficence.
It’s an ill wind that blows no man good.
- Verba Obscura #13
One should diligently exercise proper speculation upon that situs that one will eventually tenant if one propels oneself into the aerosphere.
Look before you leap.
- Verba Obscura #14
Aberration is the hallmark of homo sapiens while longanimous placability and condonation are the indicia of supramundane omniscience.
To err is human, to forgive divine.
- Verba Obscura #15
Conducting to the watering place
A quadruped of equine race
Is simple; but he may not care
To practice imbibition there.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
- Verba Obscura #16
When, nimbus-free, Sol marches by
Across the circumambient sky,
To graminiferous meads repair—
Your instant task awaits you there!.
Make hay while the sun shines.
- Verba Obscura #17
That unit of the avian tribe
Whose movements one can circumscribe
“In manu,” as a pair will rate
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
You may go to this sesqui unit for a list of related word entries.