Want to call someone out and sound smart while doing it? You need not worry. You, too, can name-call like a fancy lady.  This week’s edition of Wondrous Words is a plethora of lexiconical delights to add to the ever-burgeoning treasury of words at your disposal. Enjoy!

  1. Blackguard: A scoundrel (BLAG-urd)

Noun: a low, contemptible person; scoundrel.

Verb (used with object): to revile in scurrilous language.

“Her eyes widened and her cheeks flushed crimson at the words Reginald whispered so carelessly into her ear.  Madelaine smacked him across the cheek with her leather glove. You, sir, are a blackguard and without reproach.”

2 . Bounder: an ill-mannered man (BOWN-dur)

Noun: an obtrusive, ill-bred man.

“The bounder leaned back from his half-eaten plate and wiped at his ever-reddening nose with the sleeve of his silk shirt. The lady sitting next to him edged her chair closer and closer to the guest on her other side.”

  1. Interloper: an intruder (IN-tur-lo-pur)

Noun: a person who interferes or meddles in the affairs of others.

“You, madam, are an interloper of the lowest form. This business is most certainly none of yours. Please see yourself out. Good day.”

  1. Miscreant: a villain (MISS-kree-unt)


1. depraved, villainous, or base.

       2. Archaic. holding a false or unorthodox religious belief; heretical.

“I warned you, Penelope. I warned that something like this would happen. Did you listen to me? Most definitely not. What do I know? I am just the woman who brought you into this world. I knew from the moment that sorry excuse for a gentlemen darkened our door that this would not end well for you, my dear. This miscreant holds no care to whom he flings false affection.”

  1. Mountebank: an imposter (moun-tuh-bangk)


  1. a person who sells quack medicines, as from a platform in public places, attracting and influencing an audience by tricks, storytelling,etc.
  1. any charlatan or quack.

“His words, sweet and smooth, hypnotize the unsuspecting. This mountebank masquerading as the genuine article is simply priming his audience for the final reveal.”

  1. Poltroon: a lazy coward (pul-TROON)

Noun: a wretched coward; craven.

Adjective: marked by utter cowardice.


  1. Provocateur: a troublemaker (pro-vok-uh-TUR)

Noun: a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.

“She surveyed those attending with an expert eye; searching for any sign of pending dissent. She gleamed as those in the front began to shift and whisper amongst themselves.  Those who came to watch a fight unfold need not be disappointed. She had been paid handsomely to be a provocateur. It was time to prove to the Counsel that it was coin well spent.”

  1. Rapscallion: a rogue (rap-SKAL-yin)

Noum: a rascal; rogue; scamp.

“The small child, smudged face and dirty fingers, reached into the cart to grasp the tantalizingly warm loaf of bread. I pretended not to notice as the rapscallion scurried away, prize stowed carefully under her arm.”

  1. Sycophant: a flatterer (SIK-uh-font)

Noun: a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.

“The balding man rushed up and clasped her hand ‘My lady, how ravishing you are tonight. Are you wearing a new perfume? You smell truly divine. The gods themselves are jealous of the majestic display of beauty.’ She recoiled with distaste and withdrew her hand from his. ‘Who let in this Sycophant? Maximus, please have him removed.’”

  1. Wastrel: a spendthrift (WAS-trul)


  1. a wasteful person; spendthrift.
  2. Chiefly British.
  3. refuse; waste.
  4. a waif; abandoned child.
  5. an idler or good-for-nothing.


This week’s list is from one of my favorite books on words titled:  Smart Words: Vocabulary for the Erudite written by Mim Harrison.  I’ve had it for years, and keep coming back to it. It never fails in bringing a smile to my face.  It’s worth the read. You can find it here.

Jerusha Gray

Jerusha Gray is insatiably curious. This curiosity, coupled with a brain that never shuts up, drives her to paint and draw, read prodigiously, make music, write, and sing in grocery stores.


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