Printable Version
Pronunciation: su-pêr-kre-ni-ah-lê-kwi Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Talking over someone's head, talking above their level of comprehension.

Notes: This supernew word is a prolific one. In the short span of its life it has propagated a noun, supercranioloquacity, and an adjective, supercranioloquial, from which we have yet another noun, supercranioloquialness. The verb, supercranioloquialize, meaning "to talk over the heads of others". (If you have any doubts about the authenticity of this word, read to the end of this entry.)

In Play: Supercranioloquy may be totally unintentional: "Professor Wormser-Goode's lecture to his audience of high school students was total supercranioloquy ." Supercranioloquy can be intentional on the listener's part: "Heide Ho's admonition to her children about keeping their rooms clean went supercranioloquial."

Word History: Today's special Good Word is made up of Latin words: super "over, above" + crani- "skull" + loqui "to speak". Latin super is apparently a reduction of the combination sub + uper, the latter from PIE uper "over, above", which also turned up in Greek hyper, Sanskrit upari "over, above", English over, and German über "over, above". Cranium came from PIE ker-/kor- "horn, head", source also of English horn, Greek karis "shrimp, prawn", and and Latin cornu, as in cornucopia. Without the vowel we find remnants of it in English crab, German Krabbe "crab" and Greek kraggon "crab". Finally, loqui comes from PIE tolkw- "to speak", origin also of English talk and Russian tolk "sense" and tolkovat' "to interpret". (Today's Good Word was a work of the imagination of Dr. April Phule, professor of pseudolinguistics at Scroo University. right here in New Monia, Pennsylvania.)

Dr. Goodword,

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