Vaughan’s Vocabulary

Don Vaughan provides infrequently used words to strengthen your vocabulary.

In the book “30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary” by Dr. Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis, published by Pocket Books, is an eight-part test to see how well you are in verbal speed, synonym recall, pronouncing words in an educated manner and more. I typed the test from Funk and Norman’s book and I will be happy to e-mail it to you to take within the recommended time restraints Please e-mail me for your free copy.

This week’s word quiz is using the format of synonym recall that Funk and Norman use in Test 2. Two synonyms are under each of the five words. One of the words will have three synonyms under it. Your job this week is to choose the synonyms for each word. You are exceptional in synonym recognition if you choose the eleven within one minute. So, time yourself in this synonym recognition quiz in this week’s Vaughan’s Vocabulary.

1. veritable (VAIR-uh-tuh-bul)

A. overloading

B. surplus

C. genuine

D. surfeit

E. utter

2. sinecure (SIGH-nuh-cure)

A. cynosure

B. soft job

C. panacea

D. cinch

E. remedy

Let’s how you’re doing. The synonyms of veritable are genuine (I tell my students that there is no wine in genuine) and utter. The ones for sinecure are soft job and cinch.

3. jejune (juh-JUNE)

A. sweltering

B. cool

C. superficial

D. uninteresting

E. banal

4. copacetic (koh-puh-SET-ic)

A. satisfactory

B. enduring

C. fine

D. persevering

E. limp

No. 3’s synonyms are superficial, uninteresting, and banal. Copacetic means satisfactory and fine. On students’ outlines that are perfect I write “copacetic!” right next to the 100. On ones that are far from perfect I sometimes write “This outline has jejune content.”

5. rancid (RAN-sid)

A. feculent

B. fresh

C. malodorous

D. warlike

E. polemic

Last week’s mystery word is cure.

This week’s mystery word to solve is in the title of a play by the French playwright Moliere. Oh, and the synonyms for No. 5 are feculent and malodorous.


Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D., of Eupora is a speech and theater professor at East Mississippi Community College, Golden Triangle. Contact him at