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logorrhea

Printable Version Pronunciation: lah- or lo-gê-ree Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: Excessively wordy, incoherent speech, a storm of gibberish, possibly the result of mental instability.

Notes: Although this word means about the same as "excessive wordiness", its rhyme with diarrhea adds to it a pejorative vividness. In fact, the phrase "verbal diarrhea" is often used when this word would be more discreet and impressive. Remember to double the R in this and all other words with this root referring to a flow. Outside the US you are allowed to spell this word logorrhoea. You have your choice of adjectives: logorrheal or logorrhetic.

In Play: When wordiness just isn't quite enough, this word is what you need: "When Donny Brooke saw his daughter's new eyebrow rings with matching lip rings, he went from silence to sputtering logorrhea in fewer than five seconds." Notice the pejorative implication here: Donny was not uttering flattering niceties. Radio and TV run on logorrhea: "Lacie McBride seems to enjoy the ceaseless logorrhea of the talk shows on radio and TV."

Word History: This word is a compound made up of Greek logos "word, idea" + rhe-in "to flow, run". Logos goes back to a Proto-Indo-European root log-/leg- that is also behind the roots of lexical (lex = leg-s-), as well as legislate and legal. The semantic connection between the senses of "word" and "law" apparently comes from an era when the word of the king was the law. Greek rhein "to flow" comes from the root sreu- originally began with a Fickle S that was lost in Greek. In the Germanic languages, however, the S remained, and picked up a T producing German Strom and English stream.

Dr. Goodword, alphaDictionary.com

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