Epeolatry 2012

2012: Where are they now? Obscure words.

[The following was originally posted on LiveJournal. Yes, I’m an anachronism.]

Attention writers, friends, and epeolatarians!

Whether you write for pleasure, money, or to quell the voices in your head, I’m holding the second annual (newly named) Epeolatry Contest.

What is it? I give you a writing challenge with a set criteria, and you produce a piece for the contest by the anniversary of my birth, September 16th at 5:47a.m. Pacific.

Why would you do this? Because it’s a fun, creative exercise, and if you’re one of the top three picks (I’m the only judge — pander, pander), you’ll get a handmade gift from me. AND I’m going to take on the challenge of providing audio versions of each winning story to accompany the written pieces. (So if you like the sound of my voice, yay! Bonus!)

This year, in honor of naming the contest, I’ve picked a selection of 35 obscure words I believe ought to be in more common use (that’s 34 for each of the years I’ll have been alive, plus “one to grow on”). From those,choose three to seven words, and write a 600 word short story or sonnet. So, makari, brush up on your iambic pentameter!

You may choose any genre, but try to make your story or sonnet as sensual as possible (i.e. strong sensory descriptions, not necessarily sexual). After all, as the name of this contest suggests, you should show worship in your writing to the words you utilize.

The word list:

  1. arenaceous. adj. 1. Consisting of sand or sandlike particles. 2. (of animals or plants) Living or growing in sand.
  2. bantling. n. A very young child.
  3. cyprian. adj. Lecherous, licentious, and lewd.
  4. deliquescent. adj. Becoming liquid or having a tendency to become liquid.
  5. eidolon. n. Phantom or spirit.
  6. eyot. n. Little island in the middle of a pond or lake.
  7. fen. n. Swamp.
  8. galanty. n. Shadow play.
  9. graip. n. Pitchfork used for hurling manure.
  10. haruspex. n. A fortuneteller who used animal innards and lightning for her predictions.
  11. horrisonant. adj. Making a horrible sound.
  12. imago n. Adult form of insect.
  13. izles n. Sparks and soot coming out of a chimney.
  14. jampan n. Indian sedan chair.
  15. kaddish n. Jewish prayers for the dead.
  16. lenocinant adj. Lewd.
  17. lochetic adj. Waiting for prey; in ambush.
  18. makari. n. pl. archaic Scottish term for poets (s. “makar”).
  19. myrmidon. n. A faithful follower who carries out orders without question.
  20. nympholepsy. n. 1. Trance incurred by erotic daydreams; 2. A state of violent emotion, esp when associated with a desire for something one cannot have.
  21. obeisance. n. 1. Deferential respect; 2. A gesture displaying deferential respect (e.g. a bow, curtsey); 3. Paying of homage.
  22. pataphysics. n. The branch of philosophy that deals with an imaginary realm additional to metaphysics.
  23. paynim. n. A pagan.
  24. quiddity. n. The essence or nature of a thing.
  25. quockerwodger. n. 1. A wooden toy puppet manipulated by strings or pulls; 2. insult c. 1859: A politician whose strings are being pulled by another.
  26. ravissant. adj. (f.) Ravishing; causing rapture.
  27. scopperloit. n. Rude and rough-housing play.
  28. thaumaturgy. n. The working of wonders, magic, or miracles.
  29. uxorious. n. A man submissive to his wife.
  30. vernorexia. n. A romantic mood inspired by Spring.
  31. wittol. n. Complacent cuckold.
  32. xanthic. adj. Yellow in color.
  33. yarborough. n. A hand of cards containing no card above a nine.
  34. zephyr. n. 1. A light or west wind; 2. one of the Anemoi, Greek god of the west wind.
  35. zibeline. adj. Pertaining to sables.

This contest is open to ALL AGES, although adult themes have been and may be published for any to read.


“Untitled” by LotusDragon. Prize: a special dinner.