Tuesday, March 10, 2015


I thought I'd poke in here on a Tuesday because I just came across the word "otiosity" while reading Vanity Fair. (I'm getting close to the end, y'all, hallelujah! Be looking out for a recap soon.) Has anyone else ever heard of this word? I hadn't. It comes from the word "otiose"and I think Thackeray made it up because I didn't see "otiosity" anywhere in the dictionary.

otiose (adjective): serving no practical purpose or result; indolent, idle

Its origin is in the late 18th century. I love it. The "t" is pronounced more like a "sh" sound. In Vanity Fair, Thackeray is using it to describe one of our principal characters. 
"Joseph Sedley then led a life of dignified otiosity such as became a person of his eminence."
This is straight out of chapter 60 ("Returns to the Genteel World"), and is found on page 592 in my copy.  Yes, you heard me right. Chapter 60. Page 592. This book is no joke.

Anyway, I like it, and I'm adding it to my vocabulary. Perhaps this post is the stuff of otiosity, maybe even this entire blog is, but there you have it. Have a fabulous Tuesday afternoon!

Do you have a favorite word that's maybe a little obscure?


  1. Smackerel. That just popped in my head. Also, dapper and jaunty. They make me happy.

  2. Great words. I love dapper. =) I knew you would appreciate this post if no one else did. We're so best friends. #wordsnerds