Vocabulary – S is for (lots of) Stuff

I might have done two R posts—I lost track.  Whatever.  On to the letter S!

S stands for silly, sentimental, sexy, and smart, all things that I am.  Modest too—oh, that doesn’t begin with S?  Too bad!

This may be a long list, unless I can’t find anything.  S pairs with quite a few consonants.

Sacristy – a room in a church where sacred objects, candles, vestments, etc. are kept.

 Image:  Wikipedia.com

Salacious – lecherous, indecent.  When someone leers at you in a creepy, perverted manner, they’re being salacious.

Moriarty gave Sherlock a salacious glance, licking his bottom lip.


Can you blame him? Sherlock is delicious.

Image:  benedictcumberbatch.co.uk

Scintillate – to sparkle or flash, as with brilliance or charm.  Or actual sparks, if you’ve just stuck a fork into a socket.

(PS:  Don’t do that.)

Scarify – to make incisions or break up something, as with skin or soil.  Also used to denote cutting or wounding remarks.

 Professor McGonagall’s criticism of her methods scarified Dolores Umbridge.  Although she laughed politely, later in her office, she broke four kitten plates in her fury.    

Seine (sayne) – a vertical fishing net.  Also a river in France that flows through Paris into the English Channel.

Sexton – the caretaker of a church, its grounds, and the attached graveyard, if it has one.  A sexton may also ring the bells for services.  These days, most modern churches have electronic carillons, but some older ones still have actual bell ringers.

Bell ropes in the church of All Saints, UK.

Image: Evelyn Simak / Wikimedia Commons

Shtick – in comedy, a bit of business that draws attention to the actor or character, especially one associated with that person.

A good example would be Jack Tripper’s physical clumsiness in the old Three’s Company sitcom, though the schtick doesn’t have to be physical comedy.  Another one would be Ellen DeGeneres’s verbal rambling (Bob Saget does this too).

Sic (Latin) – an adverb meaning thus, or short for sic erate scriptum, or “thus was it written.”  When you see it in a document, it means that whatever text it refers to is reproduced exactly as it appeared in the original, even if there are spelling errors.  You put brackets around it instead of parentheses, like this:  [sic].   It does NOT mean spelling incorrect.

Skive – 1. to shave or remove the surface of something, as with leather.  2. (British) to evade or shirk work or some other responsibility.

 We’re experts at it.

We’re experts at it.

 Image:  eclecticdragonfly

Sluggard – lazy person.

Smirch – to smear or stain something; a stain or smudge.  What a sluggard might have on his clothes if he’s too lazy to do laundry.

Snaffle – a common bit used for horses, made of a bit piece (jointed) with two rings on either side.  The bit acts to guide the horse through direct pressure when the rider pulls on the reins.  It does not amplify the pressure the way other bits do.

Mmrrff mgmmmpphhh fmmmmpphfgg.

 Image:  Thowra_uk / Wikipedia

Sommelier (French) – Pronounced saw-muh-LYAY.  The waiter in charge of the wine in a fancy restaurant.

Spiracle – an insect’s breathing hole.

Squalid – filthy, neglected.  Often refers to living conditions resulting from extreme poverty.

Stentorian – loud, a sound with great power.

 Principal Wood read the names of the misbehaving students into the microphone in stentorian tones.  Buffy winced as the Scooby Gang’s monikers were announced one by one. 

Suctorial – adapted for suction, an organ for sucking or producing suction (such as tentacles or the mouthparts of leeches).  Leeches are harmless and don’t hurt; I’ve had one or two on me when I used to play in the creek as a kid.  Doctors have been using them for various treatments even today.

 I’m in yer hand, suckin’ yer bad bloods out.

I’m in yer hand, suckin’ yer bad bloods out.

 Image:  spinalstenosis.org

 Okay, I’m sorry about that; it was kind of gross.  Here’s another picture of Sherlock to get that out of your head.

Sherlock again

Image: benedictcumberbatch.co.uk

 Mmmmm, yesssss……my preciousss…..oh sorry, where were we?

Svelte – slender.

Sward – a piece of land covered with grass.  Hear the word greensward in Daffy’s song here:

Syncope (SING-kuh-pee) – the medical term for fainting. 

That’s all for today, kids.  Find a word you like?  Use it—it’s free!

5 thoughts on “Vocabulary – S is for (lots of) Stuff

  1. I was just explaining “[sic]” to my daughter this weekend, but I was too lazy to look up the origin…thanks! And I’m sure she already knew what a snaffle was, but I didn’t until now!

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