The word 'billingsgate' is used to describe coarsely abusive language since the mid 17th century. It stems from the famous fish market in London with the same name, where customers infamously often used the same kind of language.
The word 'perfunctory' is used to describe a lazy or careless person, and it comes from the Latin verb 'perfungus', which somewhat ironically means 'to accomplish'.
You probably guessed the origins of this clever adjective... Indeed, it stems from the name of the mythological Greek craftsman and artist Daedalus, who managed to construct artificial wings for himself and his son Icarus. We all know how tragic the ending of that myth is, but that doesn't take away from the skillfulness and craftsmanship of Daedalus, and so it makes perfect sense that 'daedal' means 'skillful'.
Nowadays, the adjective 'astute' is used to describe a smart and clever person, but in French, this very word was used to point to someone who was crafty or cunning. English borrowed this word in the late 17th century, and since then, the word disappeared from wide use in French, but it is still used in English.
'Livid' is another adjective of Latin origin, and today, it means 'angry' and 'furious'. In the past, however, it used to describe a dark blue color. Strange, we know.
A predicament is a problem or an unpleasant situation someone finds themselves in. The word has Latin origins as well, and it was borrowed into Middle English and first meant 'an assertion'.
If you want to conceal that something has an unpleasant smell, and yet you still need to say something politely to share your negative experience, say that it's mephitic. The dictionary definition for this adjective is priceless: according to Dictionary.com, it just means 'offensive to the smell'.
Now, this is one word that just needs to get back into fashion, as unlike the word 'thrifty' that has a negative connotation, being frugal just sounds like a real virtue although they both basically mean the same thing. The power of connotation!
Instead of saying that someone is merry or cheerful, you can also say that they're riant. In our opinion, it's a beautiful sounding word, and we should all use it a lot more.
Nowadays, we typically only say that something is frigid when it's frozen, but it can actually have the meaning of being cold and distant emotionally as well as in the bedroom.
Being solipsistic sounds like a compliment, doesn't it? Well, it isn't, at all, as it's closest synonyms are 'narcissistic' and 'self-absorbed'. The word stems from a combination of two Latin words: solus ‘alone’ + ipse ‘self’.
Now, this is a very useful word that we are clearly lacking in everyday speech. The term 'ennui' is a feeling that's a combination of tiredness and boredom, and it has French origins, obviously. Interestingly, 'ennui' and the more common English verb 'to annoy' stem from the same word.
Profligate behavior is wasteful, extravagant, and overly luxurious. Needless to say, the word has a negative connotation. Interestingly, in the past, this word was used to describe something that has been ruined, destroyed or corrupted, so this negativity associated with the word persisted since the first mentions of the word in English in the distant year 1520.
The verb to 'embrangle' is a synonym of the verbs 'embroil', 'entangle', and 'confuse'. It doesn't have any clear etymology and, to be honest, we just added it to this list because it's very fun to pronounce and it sounds clever.
'Ascertain' is another common English word, we realize that, but doesn't it just sound so much classier when you say, "We attempted to ascertain the nature of our route" instead of "We tried to figure out our route"? And that's exactly the point...
'Adore' is another one of those magic words that just makes you sound so intelligent. If you want to instantly sound smarter, just say that you adore things instead of saying that you love them. Interestingly, the word comes from the Latin verb 'adorare', which means 'to worship'. How beautiful!