Back in 2013, while plundering the bottom of my mind for the finishing touches on my dark fantasy trilogy, I plopped this little article on the web. Turns out it was a pleasure to write, so much so that I’ve decided to churn one out every year forever. I don’t have another long introduction about how I’ve been busy mining the abyss for skulls, crushing nuns’ dreams, or plotting to rip the sun out of the sky.
So I’ll just get to it.
1. Unctuous – excessively or ingratiatingly flattering; smug
I liked this word so much I made it into a villain for my latest book, Nether Kingdom. Unctulu, the oily, slick-tongued, loathsome servant of Grimwain, defines unctuous to a tee. The word makes me ill just to think of. Say it with me; Smug. Disgusting. Unctuous.
2. Tatters – a torn piece; a shred
As in tatters of flesh, tattered clouds, tattered ribbons of dead men’s bones. You get the point.
3. Masticate – to soften or reduce to pulp by crushing or kneading; to chew
No, not the other mast…ate word. I mean it in terms of, “The ragged, grey-toothed wights masticated the soldiers’ remains until only powder remained.” You know. Something grim like that. 🙂
4. Abattoir – a slaughterhouse
Ok. Maybe I’m getting too grisly here. Still, I like the imagery this word conjures up. It feels ghoulish, grotesque, and maybe a little…meaty. As in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. As in a haunted, metal-roofed, broken-windowed building none of the kids are brave enough to sneak into.
5. Guile – insidious cunning in attaining a goal; crafty or artful deception
I like this one as well as its opposite – Guileless (sincere; incapable of lying). We all know people with varying levels of guile in our lives. We’d all be better knowing fewer. I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.
6. Hodor – Hodor
Now, I’m not nearly as big a Game of Thrones fan as I used to be, but even so, who doesn’t love a word that means everything and anything? Think how much easier reading and writing would be? Hodor, Hodor, Hodor. It’s the ‘I am Groot’ of the fantasy genre. Actually, Guardians of the Galaxy is fantasy, too. So yeah. They both work. By the way, Hodor is guileless. Just sayin’.
7. Selfie – a photograph that one has taken of oneself; usually a sign of narcissism
Some things you just have to love to hate. Selfie is on this list because if viewed in the right light, it can tell you a lot about the person who uses it. Just imagine: “I never take selfies.” or “All I take are selfies.” I bet if you heard someone say either of these sentences, you’d start judging instantaneously. That alone makes this wretched word powerful. And powerful is good…if used to crush Kim Kardashian.