ellesieg (ellesieg) wrote in 1word1day,

Tuesday Word: phylacist

After looking up this word, my first thought was "Ohhh, that's what that word I wrote down a couple of weeks ago means!" My second thought, once I had decided it was as good a choice as any for a post and moved on to working out how to frame it, was "PLEASE DON'T USE THIS WORD."

A phylacist is a jailer -- a prison guard. Say you're on a first date. Thoughts of this post are among the many running through your head. "What do you do for a living?" "I'm a phylacist." "Oh..that sounds interesting." "It is!" Too embarrassed to admit they have no idea what you're talking about, your date may assume you work within some very obscure scientific discipline. Then they return home and look it up and it's either "Tough AND into obscure words! Jackpot!" or "Oh my god, they want to lock me up somewhere and hoped I wouldn't realize it until it was too late."

Or, you know, use phylacist to UTTERLY TERRIFY near-strangers. After all, I'm here to write about words, not offer moral guidance. Plus that would be hilarious. Please update me once they have quietly removed you from their list of Facebook friends, you awful human being.

Proceed with caution, however, as phylacist sounds very similar to another obscure word, phylactic, meaning "a prophylactic," which, of course, in colloquial usage, is often applied to products intended to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease, as well as unwanted pregnancy. They seemed perfectly charming. Why did they describe themselves as a walking condom? Why is their very existence an impediment to procreation? Do I really want to find out? No. No, I don't.
Tags: noun, obsolete, p, wordsmith: ellesieg

  • Sunday Word: Sonorous

    sonorous[s uh- nawr- uhs, - nohr-, son-er- uhs] adjective: 1 giving out or capable of giving out a sound, especially a deep, resonant sound,…

  • Sunday Word: Interlocutor

    interlocutor[in-ter- lok-y uh-ter] noun: 1 one who takes part in dialogue or conversation 2 the performer in a minstrel show who is placed…

  • Wednesday Word: Déraciné

    Déraciné - noun or adjective. You may know déraciné as the title of a video game, but this French word can also be used as an adjective or noun.…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment