in Wacky Word Wednesday

You will find it hard to believe that there is a word for almost every weird thing that people do. In today’s Wacky Word Wednesday, we will encounter a word that describes an embarrassing speaking habit: one that everyone suffers from from time to time, even if they wouldn’t want to admit it.

quo topsialoquent
[sy-al-uh-kwent]

-adj

Spraying saliva when speaking.

quo botSialoquent

This very wet and embarrassing adjective originates from the ancient Greek words sialon meaning “saliva,” and loqui, “speak.” The suffix “loquent,” which acts as an indication of different styles of speech, is a modern form of the ancient Greek word. Common words like “eloquent,” describing “having or showing the ability to use language clearly and effectively,” and “veriloquent,” which means speaking truthfully, share the same suffix as sialoquent.

This ancient Greek word was also coined to describe a specific way of speaking. As founders of the art of public speaking 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greeks valued the different styles of speech greatly. Educated citizens at that time were required to take lessons to study the art of rhetoric and persuasion. The three famous Greek scholars Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian all contributed to the studies of public speaking.

Besides its historical significance, today’s wacky word is the perfect word to describe that awkward moment when you have to step back from an enthusiastic speaker because your face is getting moist. This word may also remind some people of that one teacher in elementary school or that one professor in college who never had any students sit in the front row because of his or her sialoquency. Even more so, let’s be honest, sometimes we also find ourselves unconsciously attacking the surrounding crowd with our lack of saliva control when debates get heated.

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Here are two examples of sialoquent used in a sentence.

  • I like John; I find him to be very wise and, funny and easy going, but the fact that he is sialoquent really kills all odds for this one. It is unbearable. (Unuse Words)
  • Whatever he’d say came out with a spray: his sialoquent spurts gave me fits! (Encyclo.co.UK)

If you have ever encountered this habit, just remember to drink less, speak slow, swallow more and you will be saliva free! See you next time for another edition of Wacky Word Wednesday!

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