sublimate – (v.) To divert the expression of an instinctual desire or impulse from its unacceptable form to one that is considered more socially or culturally acceptable. (Maybe you should try to sublimate your Facebook habit by reading a book.)
sesquipedalian – (adj.) characterized by long, polysyllabic words; long-winded. (The teacher’s sesquipedalian lecture sailed right over our heads.)
schadenfreude – (n.) Borrowed from German (harm-joy), this is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. (Recent scandals from the Obama administration have fed Republican schadenfreude).
cainotophobia – (n.) Fear of new things; fear of change. (Evangelical cainotophobia could be our undoing.)
charientism – (n.) An artfully veiled or graceful insult (“Bless your heart,” is a favorite charientism in the South.)
bellicose – (adj.) Inclined to start quarrels or wars. (The bellicose attorney general from Kansas has finally gone quiet.)
doctrinaire – (adj.) unable to compromise about points of doctrine; dogmatic; unyielding; seeking to impose a doctrine in all circumstances without regard to practical considerations. (I find the neo-reformed theologians to be a tad doctrinaire).
denizen – (n.) An inhabitant or resident of a particular place; regular. (I find myself feeling out of place among the new denizens of the coffee shop.)
quidnunc – (n.) An inquisitive gossipy person, one who always has to know what is going on. (Jaber’s barbershop was the favorite hangout for local quidnuncs.)
cavil – (v.) To raise trivial or frivolous objections; to find fault unnecessarily. (Politics in Washington could be described as “all cavil, no compromise.”)