A List of Short Tricky Words II
Bill Long 5/4/07
From the Collegiate; L-Z
lakh-- either 100,000 or a great number in Hindi and Urdu.
leal-- a chiefly Scottish word meaning loyal or true. Nice word.
linn-- another Scottish word for a precipice or waterfall.
loris-- nocturnal slow-moving arboreal primate (Lorisidae).
lorry-- a parrot of the family Loriidae from Australia/NG.
lum-- another Scottish word--this time for chimney.
mesne-- familiar word, but can be trickly--"mean."
moa-- large extinct flightless bird of NZ of a ratite order.
neap-- relating to a neap tide, after 1st or 3rd qtr of moon.
neem-- large tropical Asian tree (Azadirachta indica).
neep-- another Scottish term, this one for turnip.
nori-- dried seaweed pressed into thin sheets for sushi.
ombre-- an old three-handed card game popular in 17-18th c.
opah-- large elliptical marine bony fish (Lampris guttatus).
parr-- a young salmon actively feeding in freshwater.
pase-- (PAH say)
a movement of the cape by a matador.
pe-- (PAY) the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
pion-- meson combining up and own quarks and antiquarks.
pirn-- a device resembling a reel--from the Scottish.
piste-- (PEEST)-- a downhill ski trail.
quern-- a primitive hand mill for grinding grain.
reata-- a lariat.
reave-- rob or despoil; also to size or carry away.
reest-- again a Scottish word, meaning to balk (horses).
reive-- confusingly similar to reave. Pronounced the same and meaning to raid-- a Scottish word. We also have the word reeve, a noun meaning a medieval sheriff.
rhea-- a South American ratite bird (Rhea americana).
rya-- (REE a) a Scandanavian handwoven rug.
salep-- starchy or mucilaginous dried tubers of OW orchids.
salp-- class of barrel-shaped tunicates abundant in warm seas
scatt-- archaic word meaning a tax or tribute. To be distinguished from scat, which is to improvise in jazz.
screak-- to make a harsh or shrill noise. Shriek and screech.
scot-- money assessed or paid. Old word.
scoter-- (SKO ter) a genus (Melanitta) of sea ducks.
sedum-- a genus of herbs of the orpine family.
seel-- to close the eyes (as of a hawk) by thread thru eyelids.
shawm-- an early double-reed woodwind instrument.
shit-- just to see if you are reading the list.
sika-- (SEE kuh) a deer (Cervus nippon) of eastern Asia.
sike-- a small ditch or stream.
sild-- a young herring other than brisling canned in Norway.
skat-- three-handed card game with 32 cards.
skeet-- trapshooting in which clay pigeons are thrown.
skeigh-- (SKEEK), chiefly Scottish word meaning skittish.
skive-- to cut off (as leather or rubber) in thin layers.
skua-- any of various seabirds related to jaegers.
sneap-- an archaic word meaning to blast with cold or to chide
sotol-- a plant of the agave family (genus Dasylirion)
sou-- a 5 centime piece. Probably derived from Latin solidus.
spean-- chiefly Scottish, it means to wean.
speel-- chiefly Scottish, meaning to climb or act of climbing.
spiel-- to talk volubly or extravagantly.
steek-- chiefly Scottish, to shut or to close.
stime-- Scottish and Irish, meaning a glimmer or glimpse.
stoa-- painted porch in antiquity where Stoic philosophers met
stoat-- the common Holarctic ermine (Mustela erminea)
stope-- usually steplike excavation for removal of ore
stoup-- flagon; basin for holy water at entrance of church.
stour-- archaic word meaning a battle or conflict, et al.
chiefly Scottish word meaning to lay out (a body).
streel-- chiefly Irish-- meaning a slovenly person.
stupe-- a hot, wet medicated cloth applied externally.
sturt-- chiefly Scottish, a contention or sudden impulse, et al.
syne-- chiefly Scottish, meaning "ago." Sing it every Jan. 1.
tahr-- any of a genus (Hemitragus) of wild Asian goats.
taiga-- moist subarctic forest.
tenge-- (TEN gay), a Kazakh coin. We use them all the time.
thirl-- a hole, perforation, opening. Archaic word.
thurl-- the hip joint in a cow.
ti-- any of several Asian and Pacific trees or shrubs
tirl-- chiefly Scottish, meaning to twirl.
tolyl-- any of three monovalent radicals from toluene.
torr-- a unit of pressure (after Evangelista Torricelli).
treen-- small woodenware, also called treenware.
vatu-- the monetary unit of (where else?) Vanuatu.
vide-- (VII dee or VEE day), see
virl-- a Scottish word for a ferrule.
weal-- most know this word; well-being or prosperity.
ween--archaic word for "believe."
weet-- archaic word for "know."
whaup-- chiefly Scottish, again, a European curlew.
wheal-- a welt, esp. a flat burning eminence on the skin.
wheen-- a considerable number or amount.
wight-- a creature or a human being.
wirra-- word used to express lament, grief, or concern.
wite-- chiefly Scottish, meaning punishment or to blame et al.
wye-- letter "y" or a "y-shaped" object.
wynd-- (long "y"), chiefly Scottish, a narrow street.
yagi-- Named after Hidetsugu Yagi, a shortwave antenna.
yegg-- a safecracker or robber.
yeuk-- chiefly Scottish word for to itch; OED has "yuke." This is no yukking matter, as anyone in a spelling bee can tell you.
yobbo-- a lout or yokel in British English.
zouk-- a form of French West Indian music blending African rhythms, reggae, calypso and electronic dance music.
There are many other words with five letters or fewer in the Collegiate which are "out of the ordinary." This, in my judgment, are probably the most difficult ones. But it does make you wonder about the evolution of the English language. Many of these words have both verb and noun forms, with multiple meanings, and were used somewhat frequently in the distant past. I wonder if the time is ripe to return some of them to their usage in modern English. I think I will gradually try it and let you know my results.