Friday, February 28, 2014

The Most Awkward Word of 2013: Sequestration

Chosen from the Global Language Monitor's 14th Annual Survey of Global English. Sequestration became popular in 2013 due to its association with hotly debated automatic federal budget cuts.

Definition: (from
1. removal or separation; banishment or exile
2. a withdrawal into seclusion; retirement
3. law
a. the sequestering of property
b. confiscation or seizure
4. chemistry. the combining of metallic ions with a suitable reagent into a stable, soluble complex in order to prevent the ions from combining with a substance with which they would otherwise have formed an insoluble precipitate, from causing interference in a particular reaction, or from acting as undesirable catalysts

"After chewing on her owner's shoes the puppy faced sequestration to the backyard."
"When the waitress was asked to clean up an accident in the bathroom, she decided it was time for sequestration from her job."

Origin: (from
"c.1400, from Late Latin sequestrationem (nominative sequestratio) 'a depositing,' noun of action from past participle stem of Latin sequestrare (see sequester)."

Awkwardness rating: 6

I contest my sequestration with these sad puppy eyes. (

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Definition: (from
1. "a multirotational one-foot turn in figure skating"
2. to perform "a multirotational one-foot turn in figure skating"

"The exceptional twizzle was undoubtedly the reason they took the gold."
"She twizzled her way into the hearts of millions."

Origin: (from
"'to twist, form by twisting' (transitive), 1788, apparently a made-up word suggested by twist."

Awkwardness rating: 5

Twizzle champions. (

Friday, February 7, 2014


Suggested by Chris H.

Definition: (from
-verb (used without object)
1. to make or use gestures, especially in an animated or excited manner with or instead of speech
-verb (used with object)
2. to express by gesturing

"Chris frequently gesticulates during his stories and knocks things over."
"Charades is a great time to show off how well you can gesticulate."

Origin: (from
"c.1600, from Latin gesticulatus, past participle of gesticulari 'to gesture, mimic,' from gesticulus 'a mimicking gesture,' diminutive of gestus 'gesture, carriage, posture (see gest)."

Awkwardness rating: 9

He can gesticulate with the best of them. (