Every Picture Tells A Story: Teens in Brooklyn (1980's)

List of the week: Adult words I used as a teenager to make myself sound more intelligent

As a teenager I was incredibly precocious at times, spouting big words to make myself feel older and more worldly in high school. Later on, as my vocabulary developed at University, I dropped these intellectual bombs into conversations to make myself feel better in the company of people more middle class and posh than I was.

As is their wont

“The girls wearing the massive Helly Hanson jackets on the oval pass around joints, behind the brick wall at lunch time….as is their wont.”

Posit

This word got a massive workout in essays during school. “I posit that Craig David draws on his micro-beard each day…when he’s saying ‘can you fill me in’, he’s meaning his own beard”.

Corporeal

I threw corporeal into an art history essay by copying a slab of purple text out of an art book and got busted by the teacher, as I didn’t know what corporeal meant.

Unequivocal

Replace ‘definitely’ and ‘for sure’ with unequivocal in every sentence for an impressive effect.

Detritus

Rubbish and garbage became detritus for me when I was about 16.

Every Picture Tells A Story: Teens in Brooklyn (1980's)
Not me, some teenagers though from the 70’s standing with a hot car.

Juxtaposition

Two trains on the platform, two Mars Bars – juxtaposed together.

Epitome

“Our school bag looks like the epitome of a sagging scrotum sack.”

Paradigm

Came across this gem at the first year of University and suddenly the economy, women, men, all of the shit in the entire world was ‘stuck in a paradigm’.

In a nutshell

This phrase, appended to a sentence was the TL:DL of the 90’s.

Sibilant

“The creepy winds blew sibilant and strong in the darkness and then she appeared, ghostly and waif-like”. A rather cringy horror story I put together while musically ODing on Portishead.

Qualms

I had no qualms about drinking from a goon bag at a party in a scout hall, none that I can remember anyway.

Eponymous

Joy Division’s eponymous album was arguably their best.

Chagrin

With much chagrin she left her class.

Seminal

According to my 17 year old self- this meant filled with semen.

Moot point

Learning maths was seen as a moot point.

Bildungsroman

It’s a story about turning from a teenager into an adult…duh!

Diaspora

Go back far enough and everyone comes from a diaspora.

Every Picture Tells a Story: A brief and enchanting history of Australian milk bars
Vintage milk bar in Melbourne

Ineffable

Sex, men, the enormity of the universe.

Quagmire

Stuck in a quagmire of iniquity at the end of the Frankston line.

Myriad/plethora

Chunks of different objects grouped together.

Hegemony

The unfairness and heaviness of power structures, 19 year old me railed against it.

Osmosis

A surfwear clothing brand and also a way to express the inextricably interwoven nature of the world.

Curious Victorian Fantasies of the Year 2000

Phallic

Anything long and rectangular was a phallic symbol and was considered bad or ‘anti-woman’ when I was at Uni.

Not me

Dichotomy

Eating dim sims for lunch while also craving sushi.

Do you have any words you used when you were young to make yourself sound older and more intelligent? Write them below!

5 thoughts on “List of the week: Adult words I used as a teenager to make myself sound more intelligent

  1. I think many academics would agree with you: ‘seminal’ publications by ’eminent’ scientists are often just bloody great wanks…. (: Hope your older self is still railing against the power-structures!

    1. Perhaps an alternative definition of seminal could mean filled with semen then hahaha. ‘Eminent’ that’s another one, yeah it is all a bit wanky. My older self is definitely less angry but still trying to do meaningful work, while enjoying the comforts that having an income affords me. I think when you’re young and have no money and nobody gives you any opportunities, it’s really easy and understandable to hate the world.

  2. Some crackers in there….I remember using sanguine in most essays and soporific in a few. That was it for me…I was too busy playing guitar to get too involved with ‘words’ lol

    1. Sanguine and soporific would have been pretty impressive too lol. Although guitar playing would have had far more social currency and coolness for sure. My brother was a drummer in a metal band when he was a teenager and he did this so that he could have ‘chicks all over him’.

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