Weird Word: Trenchant

by on Oct.14, 2013, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Trenchant

Adjective

  • (obsolete) Fitted to trench or cut; gutting; sharp.
  • (figuratively) Keen; biting; vigorously effective and articulate; severe; as, trenchant wit.

Example Usage:

I found the act quiet trenchant, save for the bit at the end, where they tried to quote Star Wars for an extra laugh; I had never been one to enjoy pandering to a crowd, even if I was one of the crowd.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Want to confuse someone? Use the word trenchant. It’ll confuse them most likely because they’ve never heard the word, but assuming they had, which meaning shall we attribute? The obsolete or figurative meaning? A word that literally has no meaning, because the old meaning is obsolete and the new meaning is the opposite of the old meaning and only meant to be used as a metaphor for the quality of a thing. Note I’m using the neoclassical definition of literally here, where I mean figuratively. Confused yet?

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