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Catillate, Agelastic, and Latibulate

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Inkhorn terms are bloated, fancy, show-off words formed by cramming Latin and Greek roots into English. The name references little bottles made from animal horn that 14th-century English scribes used to carry their ink. Lexicographer Henry Cockeram’s 1623 volume, The English Dictionarie (Amazon) features lots of them, including catillate meaning “to lick a plate,” from Latin word for “small plate” and agelastic, an adjective that describes someone who never laughs, from Greek words for “not laughing.” Another is latibulate,defined as “privily to hide ones selfe in a corner,” from lateo, Latin for “I lie hidden,” also the source of English latent. This is part of a complete episode.

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