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  • Paul Anthony Jones


(adj.) talking a great deal about unimportant subjects

A brilliant word popped up on HH today:

So here’s a little more about it. Nugipolyloquous (that’s “nyoo-jee-poh-lee-LOH-kew-us”) dates back to the seventeenth century; its first known record comes from an early dictionary of bizarre vocabulary, Edward Phillips’ New World of English Words, published in 1658.

In Phillips’ list, nugipolyloquous is defined as “speaking much, and altogether triflingly”—and is flanked by the similarly trifling word, nugisonant, meaning “sounding like a toy.”

The common element to both of these is nugae, a Latin word for a throwaway item, a trifling concern, or a joke or jape. That’s a root we’ve talked about before here on HH (shoutout to nugaemania), and one that even found its way into our collection of inspiring words, The Cabinet of Calm. Attached to it here are two more classical roots: the Greek poly–, meaning ‘many’, and the Latin verb loqui, meaning ‘to speak’. (If you’re not a fan of chimeric words, then, this Latin/Greek/Latin mishmash probably isn’t for you.)

All told, that makes this literally a ‘talker of many things of little importance’.

Funny that it popped up on Twitter on our seventh birthday, then. I don’t think we’ve ever subtweeted ourselves before, but there’s a first time for everything.


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