lagom /LAH-gəm/. adjective. A Swedish word meaning something like “happily and satisfyingly just the right amount.” Often translated as enough or adequate, lagom has a more positive connotation of fulfillment (though not perfection). Popularly believed to come from laget om (around the team), which goes back to the Viking custom of passing around a shared drink, each person contentedly sipping, it is actually derived from laghum (according to common sense). One of Sweden’s most well-known proverbs is Lagom är bäst, literally “the right amount is best” but often translated as “enough is a good as a feast.” See also: hygge.
pinguid /PEEN-gwid/. adjective. Fat, greasy, oil. Unctuous. Rarely (usually referring to soil): fertile. From Latin pinguis (fat) + -id (adjective suffix, as in languid, torpid, etc.).
“For the first minute the water grips me like a cryonic gel, glacial, faintly pinguid…” (Greg Jackson)
“Her suspicions got embellished by, of all people, Mike Fallopian of the Peter Pinguid Society.” (Thomas Pynchon)
“In the numb gesture of this ever-dead, a pair of pinguid crows hopped, foot to foot, along one pleading limb, like two conspiring nuns cackling and pecking and flapping into the air…” (Nick Cave)
“The angel would stand, giant in her consciousness, its head bent down. She would stare up into its meteor-scarred face and its wings would open slowly, with pinguid plumage, a wider span than any sea eagle.” (J. M. Ledgard)
“There, staring back at us, between the drum major’s braided cap and the gold epaulettes, were the dark pinguid features of Dada made flesh: His Excellency Al Haji Field Marshal and President for Life of Uganda: Idi Amin Dada.” (T. C. Boyle)
“Pingle should not be confused with pinguid, which means greasy, though if the food is too much the latter, it may cause the former. So if you were stuck with a bad cook in Antarctica you might pingle a pinguid penguin.” (Mark Forsyth)
pinchbeck /pinsh-bek/. noun or adjective. An inexpensive copper alloy that looks like gold. A counterfeit or a sham. The word first appears in the 1500s referring to a miserly person, of unknown origin. But it reappears in the 1700s as the name of an alloy used by jeweler and watchmaker Christopher Pinchbeck to make inexpensive products with the appearance of gold, over time coming to be known generically as a synonym for cheap and/or spurious.
/AC-shun-ə-bəl/. adjective. Something that can be used as the ground for legal action. More generally, something that can be acted upon or used as the basis for taking action.
dotard /DOH-tərd/. noun or adjective. A stupid, foolish, possibly senile person.
/POSH-ləst/. Adjective. Banality and kitsch, vulgarity and triviality, all riddled with a lack of spirituality and an overt physicality, even sexuality.