Introducing the Rare Stories

Through the first six months of 2018, I wrote a series of flash fictions of around 1000 words using, as a prompt, words marked as 'rare' in the OED. The sequence goes from A-Z and was posted on my website at a rate of roughly one a week through until the end of June.  The full list is below, with each word linking to the relevant story. Thanks for reading!



apple-squire (noun): a male companion of a woman of ill-repute

babblative (adj.): given to babbling; loquacious, prattling

combuster (noun): a person or thing that causes combustion

deericide (noun): the killing or killer of deer (published in Spring 2018 issue of Northwords Now)

emacity (noun): fondness for buying

flatter-blind (verb): to flatter so as to make blind; to blind with flattery (published in Summer 2018 issue of Honest Ulsterman)

goosified (adj.): affected with 'goose-flesh'

historiaster (noun): an inferior or mediocre historian

impanate (verb): to embody in bread

jazzaphonic (adj.): of a sound: resembling or characteristic of jazz music [removed for submission]

keckish (adj.): inclined to keck; squeamish

leading-string (noun): strings with which children used to be guided when learning to walk 

mizzle-shinned (adj.): having one’s legs red and blotched from sitting too near a fire

notaphily (noun): the study or collection of bank notes

ombrometer (noun): a rain gauge

philobiblian (noun): a book-lover (published on The Bookseller website)

queuemanship (noun): the exercise of ploys and tactics in order to minimize time spent waiting in a queue

rodges-blast (noun): a sudden small, localized whirlwind 

scraw (verb): to clear the throat, to ‘hawk’

tinctumutant (noun): an animal that changes colour 

umbratic (adj.): confined to the shade or to retirement; retired, secluded 

vinaigrous (adj.): vinegary; sour-tempered

whunk (noun): a dull hollow sound, as of a bullet striking something (apparently only in the work of Hemingway)

xenodochial (adj.): given to receiving strangers; hospitable

yearsman (noun): a labourer hired or paid by the year

zoogenic (adj.): formed by or derived from animals or their parts