ablutophobic /ab LOOT o FO bik/ adj • Pathologically afraid of bathing.
[Latin ablutio a washing + Greek phobos fear]
“To punish him for committing the unnatural act with the chalkboard eraser, Mrs. Schneider forced Henry to sit every day next to the ablutophobic girl, the one with the thick pigtails and the faint but unmistakable odor of old sausage about her.”
compare odorivector, stinkard
abydocomist /ab ee do CO mist/ n • A liar who boasts of his or her falsehood.
“There were lots of abydocomists working the phones at the underground telemarketing firm, but none could top Neville, who would cheerfully swindle a widowed grandmother out of her annuity fund and then climb atop his desk and trumpet, ‘I am the king of the lying worms!’”
acalculiac /ay ka/ KOOL ee ak/ n • Someone who cannot count or do simple math.
“Mortimer could remember exactly when he became disgusted with being a high school math teacher. It was the day he met with the principal to discuss the acalculiacs in his freshman class, and the bureaucrat kept whispering: ‘Lower the bar, Mort! Lower the bar!’”
acrotophiliac /uh CRO toe FEEL ee ak/ n • A person who is sexually attracted to the stumps of amputees.
One of the first words in the book, and already the authors are making fun of the infirm. It doesn’t seem quite fair; after all, an amputee needs love as much as the next person. To help make it up to our lesser-limbed friends, we have decided to throw them a bone, in the form of a list detailing the correct word for every different type of person strangely and powerfully aroused by the absence of an appendage.
acrotomophiliac—One who enjoys fantasizing that his or her sexual partner is an amputee.
ameliotist—A person who is sexually attracted to an amputee as a whole, not just to his or her stump.
apotemnophiliac—One who fantasizes about being an amputee; one who schemes to amputate some part of his or her body in order to gain sexual pleasure.
monopediomaniac—Someone with a sexual attraction or psychological dependence on a one-legged person.
adulterine /ad ULT er een/ n • A person born of an adulterous union.
The distinction between an adulterine and a bastard is that a bastard is simply the offspring of unwed parents, while an adulterine is the issue of an adulterous union; that is, one involving folks who are married, just not to each other. Both terms derived much of their original sting from conventional attitudes, grounded in religion, toward marriage and sin. Bastard, however, has triumphed by evolving into a broader definition. Nowadays, calling someone a bastard does not necessarily mean that the person was born out of wedlock, just that he or she is mean and despicable. But while bastard is now a commonly used insult, adulterine remains stuck in its original, specific meaning, and is not often used.
compare gandermooner, uzzard, wetewold
aerocolpos /air o KOLE pose/ n • Vaginal flatulence; air or gas trapped in the vagina.
[Greek aer air + kolpos bosom or fold]
Yes, there exists a technical term for this unmentionable occurrence. So why doesn’t anyone know what to properly call it? Other unappealing bodily functions are known by their official names; why does aerocolpos have to go by quiff (meaning, literally, “puff of air”)? Could it be that this concept still elicits some feelings of queasiness or embarrassment with certain people? Remember, gentle reader: aerocolpos is as natural as breathing. Just because it often occurs during sex doesn’t mean it is something to be ashamed of. (However, this does not mean that the authors cannot poke fun at it … . )
ageustia /ay GOOSE tee uh/ no • Absence of a sense of taste; complete or partial loss of the sense of taste.
[a (neg.) + Greek geusis taste]
A metaphorical gem, and a useful code word to share with a friend. Symptoms of this actual medical condition include a tolerance for dubious foods, and the wearing of stripes with plaid.
“Either Janice’s new in-laws possessed a highly evolved sense of humor, or they suffered from severe ageustia. How else to explain their wedding present, a neon cuckoo clock that blurted the theme songs from seventies sitcoms every quarter hour?”
agramaticist /ay gram AT iss ist/ n •One suffering from agrammaticism: the inability to form sentences.
“Nathan was a lifelong aggramaticist, but was able to put this shortcoming to good use in his chosen career: politics. Speaking entirely in disconnected sound bites, he truly was the candidate for the twenty-first century.”
agitatrix /aj ih TAY trix/ n • A female agitator; a woman who agitates.
Men can recognize the dreaded agitatrix by these telltale utterances: “Does this dress make me look fat?” “Do you think she’s cute?” “Why don’t you tell me you love me?” and the ever-popular “You’re not allowed to fart in bed.”
aidle /AY dl/ v • “To earn one’s bread indifferently well.” (Charles Mackay’s Lost Beauties of the English Language, 1874)
“Aidling away the months selling greeting cards door-to-door, Michelle didn’t care if she sold two, twelve, or none at all. She did enjoy taking three-hour lunches, however, and could often be seen sitting in a quiet and shady corner of the park catching up on her reading.”
compare eyeservant, ploiter
alacuoth /al uh KOO oth/ n • Involuntary defecation during sex.
Befouling oneself is difficult to cope with in the best of circumstances—how much more so with such unfortunate timing.
No doubt many readers will immediately cast alacuoth onto that dung heap of the mind where one chucks all the unpleasant things one would rather forget. But while it may be one of those words of which it is happiest to remain ignorant, it demands inclusion in any unflinching discussion of the descriptive capacities of the English language.
“Milo knew what he was looking for in a woman, and when he finally found one who didn’t seem to mind his chronic alacuoth, he slapped a ring on her finger in two whisks of a lamb’s tail.”
compare dyspareunia, sterky
allorgasmia /al or GAZ mee uh/ n • Fantasizing about someone other than one’s partner during sex.
Allorgasmia is not usually something one openly discusses with one’s sexual partner. But it is fairly common. What’s more, the spice it brings to the bedroom probably saves more relationships than all the marital therapists west of the Missippippi. So, the next time allorgasmia causes the supermarket checkout girl or delivery boy to make a guest appearance in your bed—er, head—try not to feel too guilty about it.
alothen /AL o then/ v • To grow disgusting.
From people to cultural phenomena to leftover tuna casserole, there are so many potential uses for the word alothen that the reader is encouraged to let his or her imagination run wild.
ambisinister /am bi SIN ist er/ adj • Lacking manual dexterity with both hands; having “two left hands.”
[Latin ambi both + sinister left]
“Spencer, the airport baggage-handler, had the perfect job for someone as ambisinister as himself. He solved the problem of punching the clock by holding his time card in his teeth, but the mandatory coffee break still posed special hazards for him, and he kept a rubberized poncho in his locker for the occasion.”
amourette /am oor ET/ n • A petty or insignificant love affair.
“Edward Kleeger, titan of business and industry, was devastated when the dominatrix he wined and dined on weekends told him that she was moving on, saying: ‘You were never more than an amourette, Ed, and not a very enjoyable one, at that.’”
amplexus /am PLEX us/ n • The mating embrace of a toad or a frog.
From the endlessly descriptive world of biology comes this sparkler of a word. Since it is common enough to refer to a repulsive person as a toad, a figurative use for amplexus logically presents itself.
“The last thing I remembered from that evening was hiding in the men’s room to escape the attentions of the vile Mrs. Flamm. Early the next morning I awoke in a strange bed with a terrible hangover, only to realize with horror that I was firmly caught in her amplexus.”
anaclitic /an uh KLIT ik/ adj • 1) Overly dependent on others for emotional support. 2) Overly dependent on one’s mother.
[Greek ana again, up, back + klinein to lean]
“Everyone warned Ellen that she was coddling her teenage son, but she just couldn’t resist when he whined from bed for a sponge bath, and so his anaclitic dependency continued to deepen.”
As she dries off her husband’s tears,
Beth wrinkles her nose up and sneers,
“Not to be a critic,
but you’re still anaclitic,
and your mother’s been dead now for years.”
anagapesis /an uh gap EE sis/ n • A loss of feelings for one formerly loved.
This is a terrible yet useful word. For all those who at one time or another have clumsily and ineffectually struggled to say, “I don’t love you anymore,” without having to actually say it, don’t be fooled: “I love you, I’m just not in love with you” is a horrible thing to tell somebody. To avoid this and other clichés, it is better to tell one’s ex-to-be that one has been stricken with anagapesis—then get the hell out of there before he or she reaches for the dictionary.
compare allorgasmia, anaxiphilia
anaxiphilia /lan AX if EEL ee uh/ n • The act of falling in love with the wrong person.
Another in a long list of depressingly common human afflictions, anaxiphilia can befall anyone. While this word is not an insult per se, it can be used to gently rib—or brutally make fun of—someone who has recently had his or her heart crushed.
androgalactozemia /AN dro gal AK toe ZEE mee uh/ n • Secretion of milk from the male breast.
[Greek andros man + gala milk + zemia loss]
Could any creature be more deserving of ridicule than the man with androgalactozemia? Probably not. The only consolation for the poor slob with this condition is that since most people don’t believe such a thing can actually happen, when confronted with it they will probably be too perplexed to laugh, at least at first.
“Raymond eschewed doctors, and working with a homemade surgical kit of knitting needles, rubber plugs, and Super Glue, bravely dealt with his androgalactozemia on his own.”
anhedonia /an hed O nee uh/ n • The inability to experience feelings of pleasure or happiness.
[an (neg.) + Greek hedone pleasure + ia]
As people with anhedonia are quite likely to make life miserable for everyone around them, this is a word worth knowing.
“Audrey surrendered to her anhedonia and married a shriveled and whining orthodontist. Why not? It was impossible for her to be happy anyway. At least this way she got full dental coverage.”
animalist /AN im al ist/ n • A person who engages in bestiality.
“As a boxer, Hector ‘The Animalist’ Suarez was rather proud of his moniker, thinking that it doubtless made reference to some boundless crop of energy that he possessed. In reality, it stemmed more from his nightly habit of drinking himself insensate enough to couple with anything with a pulse.”
compare anthropozoophilic, avisodomy
ankyloproctia /an kil o PROK tee uh/ n • A severe constriction of the anus.
[Greek ankylos bent, crooked + proktos anus]
The perfect word to describe a tight-ass.
“Donald’s ankyloproctia came as a terrible blow to the pudgy gourmand. His doctors had now restricted him to a diet consisting entirely of foods that could easily pass through his narrowed system, such as baby food and overripe bananas.”
anorgasmic /AN or GAZ mik/ adj • Failing to achieve orgasm during sex.
“While the anorgasmic relations he suffered with his fifth wife were not something Simon would have wished upon himself, they were certainly an improvement over the situation with his previous brides, all of whom had refused to sleep with him at all.”
anteric /lan TER ik/adj • Seeking vengeance for slighted love.
“In an anteric rage, Sarah decided that slashing the tires of her ex-boyfriend’s pickup truck just wasn’t enough. So she set it ablaze and flung herself on top of it.”
anthropozoophilic /AN thro PO zoo FILL ik/adj • Attracted to both people and animals.
[Greek anthropos man + zoon animal + philein to love]
While this term is primarily employed to describe insects, we are confident that some of our more deviant readers will find another use for it.
“‘Any port in a storm,’ thought the anthropozoophilic Edmund, after the third and last farmer’s daughter rebuffed his licentious advances, and he was told in no uncertain terms to go and sleep in the barn.”
compare animalist, avisodomy, omnifutuant
antinomian /an tee NOME ee an/ n • A person who believes that faith in Christ frees him or her from moral and legal obligations.
“No one in his small Southern town objected to Lloyd not paying taxes, using a homemade license plate, or flying his own separatist flag proclaiming his trailer home/arsenal to be a ‘principality of Jesus.’ But there had to be a limit to religious expression, and when the zealous antinomian cut the ticket line at the high school football game, a lynching party quickly coalesced out of the throng.”
compare eisegetical, tartuffe
antithalian /an tee THALE ee an/ adj • Disapproving of laughter or festivity.
“Many citizens were distressed by the law-and-order mayor’s antithalian crusade of ticketing anyone who laughed in public (‘It’s a quality-of-life issue,’ he insisted). But no one could deny that the policy, when enforced, lent the city something of a genteel and cultivated air.”
compare anhedonia, cachinnator
antivitruvian /an ti vit ROO vee an/ adj • Taking pleasure in destroying architectural monuments.
This wonderfully specific word comes to us from the name of a famed Roman architect, Vitruvius. While it is unlikely that the reader will ever have an opportunity to rise at a town meeting and, raising his or her voice in a stentorian fashion, cry: “You, sir, are nothing more than a base and vile antivitruvianist!,” it is still a word that every lover of fine buildings should know. Certainly there seem to be an inordinate number of these despicable creatures in circulation today.
“Once he promised them a fifty-dollar tax credit, most of the townsfolk came around to supporting the councilman’s antivitruvian plan to rip down the seventeenth-century town hall and replace it with a new cinderblock courthouse.”
apoglutic /ap o GLOO tik/adj • Having a tiny rump.
For those readers who prefer rear ends that are built for comfort and not for speed, the authors offer apoglutic for use as an insult.
“As a personal trainer to the stars, Rolanda was renowned for her ability to render anyone apoglutic. Indeed, she refused to consider a client a success until her posterior was skinny enough to make sitting on it decidedly uncomfortable.”
compare kakopygian, unipygic
apophallation /ap o fal AY shun/ n • Among slugs, the practice of chewing off a partner’s penis following sex.
Slugs are endowed with what is proportionately one of the largest penises in the animal kingdom; an eight-inch slug can have a member that is just as long as he is. There is a terrible downside to such phallic magnificence, however. Every so often a slug will get stuck. Imagine: you’re hot and sweaty, the deed has been done, and you really want nothing so much as a cigarette and a shower, but your partner just can’t withdraw. Can you really blame the slug for chewing it off?
“Mr. Duval was a dedicated, if slightly unstable, health teacher. Nevertheless, there was some degree of controversy among the local parents when he began showing nature films of animals engaging in apophallation to his sophomore class as a deterrent to sexual activity.”
assot /ASS ot/ v • To make a fool of.
“Her first day at her first job out of college, and Kirsten had thoroughly assotted herself. They’d told her to ‘dress her best’ for work, and so she had donned the only finery she had: her bright green prom dress from five years ago. Oh, the humiliation when they sent her home in tears!”
atolmia /ay TOLE mee uh/n • Impotence in a man due to lack of confidence.
“Operating according to the credo ‘You’ve got to break a man all the way down before you can build him up again,’ the Longwell Institute for Male Pleasure (L.I.M.P.) racked up several successes—as well as a large number of spectacular failures—with its ‘tough love’ approach to curing atolmia.”
compare anorgasmic, peniculas
autosmia /aw TOZ mee uh/n • The smelling of one’s own bodily odors.
[Greek auto self + osme smell]
“Jared was an outcast his whole life, somehow never grasping that his erotic obsession with autosmia was part of the reason why.”
autotheist /aw toe THEE ist/ n • One who believes that he or she is God.
“Fisk’s many minions were accustomed to the billionaire autotheist’s monstrous egotism. It was his complete neglect of even the most basic personal hygiene that took a bit more getting used to.”
avisodomy /uh VIZ o dome ee/ n • The act of having sex with a bird.
Live long enough and there will come a time when you desperately wish that you knew a word that means to have sex with a bird. Bereft of such knowledge, most people will sputter and cast about in vain before coming up with a colorful but crude expression, such as ‘duck-fucker.’
Avisodomy covers sexual congress with any type of bird, but it is most commonly applied to fowl.
“Although they were the only house on campus that insisted their pledges be videotaped engaging in avisodomy, Sigma Tau Delta had such a degree of social cachet, and threw such splendid mixers, that they had more pledges clamoring to join than any other three fraternities combined.”
compare animalist, anthropozoophilic
INSULTING ENGLISH. Copyright © 2001 by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.