Sesquipedalia or Sesquipedalians: Foot and a Half Long Words, Section Two

(obscure verbal usages that challenge our comprehension as to what they mean)

Sesquipedalian Words; Part 2, 18-33

Sesquipedalia Verba or Sesquipedalians in Action

Mother accuses son of lying.

"I asked you to tell me where you've been all afternoon! Don't tell me again that you were over at Jimmy's because I called and he said you weren't there. Now, tell me the truth!"

A boy is an example of a circumlocutionist in action.

Mother, do you have the audacity to doubt my veracity and to insinuate that I prevaricate when I am as pure and undefiled as the icicles that hang from a church steeple?

Mother looks up words to give her son a sesquipedalian response.

Johnny's mother didn't say any more at the time because she decided to use her vocabulary resources to prepare a proper sesquipedalian response.

Mother surprises her sone with her sesquipedalian response.

"John, my son, go outside and transport from that recumbent collection of fragmentary combustibles to the threshold of this edifice two curtailed expressions of defunct logs; and do it in this present tense of contiguous chronology."

Now, see if you can determine the meanings of these additional sesquipedialian presentations before you look at the solutions.

  • Verba Obscura #18

  • For none who claims to represent
    The “homo” species sapient
    Will loiter Einstein’s fourth dimension
    Or sea’s quotidian declension.
    —Hubert Phillips

    Time and the tide wait for no man.

  • Verba Obscura #19

  • Faced with material esculent
    As source of liquid nourishment,
    Avoid excess—’twill but displease—
    Of culinary expertise.
    —Hubert Phillips

    Too many cooks can spoil the broth.

  • Verba Obscura #20

  • It is fruitless to endure lacrimation over precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

    Don’t cry over spilled milk.

  • Verba Obscura #21

  • A revolving lathic conglomerate accumulates no diminutive glaucous brophitic plants.

    A rolling stone gathers no moss.

  • Verba Obscura #22

  • Missiles of ligneous or crystalline consistency have the potential for fracturing my osseous structure, but appellations will eternally be benign.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

  • Verba Obscura #23

  • Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.

    Spare the rod and spoil the child.

  • Verba Obscura #24

  • The stylus is more potent than the claymore.

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

  • Verba Obscura #25

  • Members of an avian species of identical plummage congregate.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

  • Verba Obscura #26

  • Individuals who make their abode in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting petrous projectiles.

    People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  • Verba Obscura #27

  • Exclusive dedication to necessary chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hepetudinous fellow.

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

  • Verba Obscura #28

  • Male cadavers are incapable of yielding any testimony.

    Dead men tell no tales.

  • Verba Obscura #29

  • I entered the abode of the tonsorial artist to have my hirsute appendage diminished.

    I went into the barbershop to have my hair cut.

  • Verba Obscura #30

  • They were seated on adjoining stools in a dimly lighted cocktail lounge. "Honey," he said, "what about forgetting your inhibitions and spending a quiet weekend with me at the beach?"

    "See here," she answered, "after an exhaustive perusal of the corpus of documented evidence garnered by research on heterosexuality as applied to contemporary sociological mores, and in view of the innate predisposition to the more exotic manifestations of concupiscence evident in your demeanor, a categorical negative is my response."

    "I don't get it,” he said.

    "That's right," she exclaimed!


  • Verba Obscura #31

  • Here is part of a letter written by a government bureaucrat in response to a plumber's question about using hydrochloric acid to clean out some water pipes.

    "The efficacy of hydrochloric acid is indisputable, but the corrosive residue is incompatible with metallic permanence."

    The plumber wrote back that he hoped that the government bureaucrat agreed that it was useful to use hydrochloric acid, but he said he didn't understand the meaning of the letter. Would the official clarify what he meant.

    The government official wrote back, "Don't use hydrochloric acid to clean water pipes. It eats hell out of the pipes!"

    —Unknown Source

  • Verba Obscura #32

  • Verbosity and circumlocution are too often substituted today for clear, direct expression. What Shakespearean play title, for instance, might now be worded like this?

    "There is an ongoing viability to the aggregate of human enterprises that attain a terminal configuration without being adversely impacted."

    —As seen in a "Book-of-the-Month-Club" pamphlet several years ago [date unknown].

    All’s Well That Ends Well.

  • Verba Obscura #33

  • "Scintillate, scintillate, globule vivific!
    Fain would I fathom thy nature specific,
    Distantly poised in the ether capacious,
    Closely resembling a gem carbonaceous."

    Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
    How I wonder what you are,
    Up above the world so high,
    Like a diamond in the sky.

Part 1 is available, if you want to see it again.

You may go to this sesqui unit for a list of related word entries.