Vaughan’s Vocabulary

Don Vaughan
Provides infrequently used words to strengthen your vocabulary.

The word that I have in mind and the name of an Irish dramatic author and actor begin with the same four letters. The name is pronounced “BOO-se-ko.” The word is a noun for a type of fabric (pronounced “boo-CLAY”).

You won’t find this second word everywhere, but it means existing or being everywhere, especially at the same time.

Here’s one more coDondrum. You can use this word as an adjective for someone’s remarks that are offensive or that evoke ill will or resentment. Its third and fourth letters are the first two letters of the name of a cataract in the Zambezi River of beautiful Rhodesia.

[1.] scintilla (sin-TI-lah)

A. a small amount of something

B. an outer garment worn over the shoulders

C. an aphorism

D. an aphrodisiac

[2.] scholium (SKO-lee-em)

A. a self-taught person

B. an explanatory note, especially on a passage in an ancient Greek or Latin text

C. a short story

D. an old school

[3.] zeitgeist (zite-GUYST)

A. a person who believes in supernatural powers

B. a person with supernatural powers

C. the spirit of the time

D. an antagonist

[4.] zenith [ZEE-nith]

A. lighting speed

B. sangfroid (SAHN-frwa)

C. the highest point or state

D. passé-partout (pas-pahr-TOO)

Scintilla, scholium, zeitgeist, and zenith were last week’s “coDondrums.” No. 1 is A. No. 2 is B. No. 3 is C.

No. 4 is C.

[5.] catacombs (KA-tuh-combs)

A. an instrument for brushing the fur of cats

B. a complex set of interrelated things

C. mountainous regions

D. flat regions

Aside from B, catacombs means a subterranean cemetery of galleries with recesses for tombs.

Last week’s mystery word is mea culpa.

This week’s mystery word to solve is a noun and an adjective. This word has to do with pain in a sad way.