Word for the Weekend: janiform

I think my love affair with words started when I was in 6th grade.  My teacher decided that she would make cards with random words on them and each week draw one out and it would be our class word for the week.  She used a lot of unusually long, funny sounding or archaic words to pique our interest.

To this day, I only remember one of her words: barbigerous, which means hairy.  The sample sentence was, “Robin Williams is a very barbigerous man.”

Despite the fact that only one word stuck, I loved the idea of learning new words and finding ways to use them in everyday conversation.  Still today, I enjoy throwing out words that make people stop and think.  My mom calls them 50 cent words.  I’m not sure if she made that up or it’s a real thing, but I like it either way, because it implies that some words are worth more in a conversation.  I’m not the type of person who generally dominates a conversation, so I like the thought of my words having more value.

In the interest of sharing my penchant for learning new words, and maybe having people know what I’m saying occasionally, I’m going to share a word a week and challenge readers to try to use that word in conversation.  Maybe you’ll blow your friends  minds with your awesome vocabulary, or maybe they’ll just look at you funny- but either way it’ll be entertaining.

This weeks word is janiform.

I stumbled on this word while playing TextTwist on the Megatouch machine at a bar.  I often swear that game makes up words.  Janiform was one of those  words I thought was fake.  One friend thought maybe it was clothes for a janitor.  Another said, “No, I think it’s like a mountain or something.”

We were all wrong.  A quick search yielded three definitions:

Janiform: adj. resembling the god Janus, having two faces looking in the opposite direction (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/janiform)

janiform: [jan-uh-fawrm] -adj. Janus-faced (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/janiform)

janiform: hypocritical [adj.] (http://www.lexic.us/definition-of/janiform)

It’s also worth noting that janiform is a recognized scrabble word, worth 20 points.

So go ahead use it this weekend, drop it in conversation like, “Oh man, I cannot stand ________; she is such a janiform bitch” or “Stop being so janiform.” Or toss it into your game on Word with Friends on a triple word score and rack up some points.

Maybe throw some barbigerous out there too.  This week you get a two for one.

Have fun and let me know how it goes!


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