Top ten Tuesday: words I use excessively but don’t know the meaning of

Jonah Ocuto

More stories from Jonah Ocuto

Issue 3
January 25, 2019
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Issue 5
May 18, 2018

As a writer, I find myself using words quite often. Yet, it’s impossible to know every word to use in every situation. Because of this, I find myself using words or phrases all the time even though I have absolutely no idea what they mean. Here are my top 10 favorites.

  1. Juxtaposition

I used this word 54 times in the last essay I wrote, all in different situations to describe different things. Do I have a single clue as to what it means? No. Did I get an A? You bet.

  1. Allegory

Whenever I see this word my brain immediately reads “Alligator.” My doctor says I may be dyslexic, but I just think he’s a stupid medicine boy who doesn’t know when to be quiet.

  1. Acquiesce

I heard somebody say this word on a YouTube video and my brain was immediately hooked. Now I use it in every social situation, which may explain my perplexing lack of meaningful relationships. Parents just don’t understand, huh.

  1. Cognizant

When I use this word, people around me stare in awe of my mental fortitude. What they don’t know is that I have absolutely no idea what I’m saying. At one point I said “Cognizant applesauce” to describe its taste.

  1. Institutionalization

This word is at least two times longer than the other words on this list, so I don’t even know where to begin. I use this when I talk about politics, which makes Mrs. Rodey proud.

  1. Crayon

CRAY- ON? Or CRAN? I don’t know, man.

  1. Myriad

I started every essay in AP Lang with this word. I think it’s an adjective describing the shape of a turtles shell, but I’m just not sure.

  1. Puce

Bro… like… what?

  1. Vendetta

This was the metal in Black Panther.

  1. Pulchritudinous

I don’t even know how to pronounce this one, but man, if you drop this in an essay for English — your teachers head will literally explode. Seriously. Don’t use this word in an essay.