Words of the Day: Abstruse, Absurd, Abuzz, Aby, Academicals

As a writer it’s important I have a large vocabulary, so I’ve decided to read through the dictionary. To keep me accountable I will post my favorite words from each dictionary page. Definitions come from Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Third College Edition, 1988.

Abstruse: adjective meaning “hard to understand; deep, recondite”

Interestingly, this word’s root essentially means “to thrust away.” [classical Latin abstrusus, pp. of abstrudere, to thrust away < ab(s)-, away + trudere, to thrust]

I suppose understanding is “thrust away” in abstruse topics.

Absurd: adj. [French absurde < classical Latin absurdus, not to be heard of < ab-, intens. + surdis, dull, deaf, insensible] so clearly untrue or unreasonable as to be laughable or ridiculous. Synonyms: ludicrous, preposterous, foolish, silly, ridiculous

Abuzz: adj. 1 filled with buzzing 2 full of activity, talk, etc.

Aby or abye: transitive verb [Middle English abien < Old English abycgan < a- for bycgan, buy] Archaic word for “to pay the penalty for”

Academicals: noun plural: Traditional academic clothing: cap and gown.


I paid a lot of money for my academicals, so, by golly, I’m going to wear them every chance I get. Where’re I go might be abuzz with my supposedly absurd costume, but I’ll aby their talk. The matter is too abstruse for them.

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