I was sitting at my computer a few moments ago when the word "fugacity" popped into my head. Don't ask me why.
I first heard that word in college as the difference between a perfect gas and a real gas. A perfect gas (which is an ideal that doesn't exist but works well in a lot of cases) follows the perfect gas law. Fugacity modifies the perfect gas law so that it works with a real gas.
So I wasn't sure if I was spelling it correctly, so I googled it. And, I found out that, much to my surprise, it has another more poetic meaning: "the quality of being fleeting or evanescent." Cool, I thought.
That got me think about other strange words. I like to collect them. Here's some of my favorites:
Crepuscular Rays: (noun) rays of sunlight coming from a certain point in the sky. Also known as “God's rays.”
As in this picture:
Phosphenes: (noun) the lights you see when you close your eyes and press your hands to them.
Pareidolia: (noun) seeing shapes (such as faces) in random stimulus.
Sometimes I experience pareidolia with phosphenes,
Here's a fun word: Brobdingnagian (Adjective): big, huge, colossal.
Battology: (non) wearisome repetition of words in speaking or writing.
Here's one that sounds dirty but it's not: Aureole: (noun): a radiance surrounding the head or body in the representation of a sacred personage.
What strange words to you know?