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A Pickup Guide To Score The Pulchritudinous Librarian

Guest post by Eric Watermolen

I think I may have made an error of judgment. I really wanted to offer up a new guest post on WSL, so I sent an email to Josh. That wasn’t the error, that’s actually a good idea; to communicate with the head honcho of the blog. I told Josh that I wanted to guest post, but I was having trouble thinking of a topic.

I asked him to send me the first word that popped into his head and I would form a post around that word. That was the mistake. Josh is a librarian. Librarians deal with a lot of words. The first word that pops into a librarian’s mind is not the first word that pops into any other human being’s mind.

The word he came back with was “Pulchritude” along with the comment that it was the loveliest word he knows.

Great… Pulchritude. That’s one ugly sounding word. First stop – dictionary.com.

pul·chri·tude [puhl-kri-tood, -tyood]


physical beauty; comeliness.

Of course… it’s the loveliest word he knows. That Josh is quite clever. I’m up for the challenge though, I’ll write this darn post on that ugly beautiful word. (I apologize in advance if I mangle the English language during any part of this post.)

If ever I’ve heard an ugly sounding word that defined beauty, that word is pulchritude. Second to that I think, is comeliness. Try telling your date that she is “looking quite comely tonight,” or that her “pulchritude pleases you greatly.” Yeah, that’s not going to go over very well unless she’s a librarian.

Librarian Pick-up Lines

If she is a librarian, you might one-up the noun form and go for the adjective form. “You are the quintessence of the pulchritudinous female form.”

Trust me, that line will win them over every time. She’ll look at you dreamily and say, “you had me at pulchritudinous.”

You might follow that up by telling her, “You have a mellifluous voice such that I imagine it to be the sound of a rainbow against a backdrop of sunsets.”

To close the deal, you will tell her, “I am saddened by the ephemeralness of this brief encounter, and I’d like to take you to dinner, so as thoughts of this interlude evanesce I may look forward to an evening of enchanting conversation and ambrosial company.”

Ok, I have to stop there. I’m using words that are too big for my brain. Having spent your entire cache of big fancy words, the actual date with that librarian may be awkwardly silent and consist of you showing off other skills like flexing your biceps or balancing a spoon on your nose. I really can’t help you beyond a few one liners, so you’re on your own from here.

A Very Important Disclaimer

Please don’t consider me to be any sort of pick-up expert (I’m sure you don’t based on what you’ve seen here,) and I can’t take any responsibility for the results of pickup lines like these. I’ve been married to my pulchritudinous wife for 13 years, so my dating days are, happily, far behind me. Also don’t use these if you are a librarian and trying to pick up a non-librarian, as I’m sure it will have the complete opposite effect, and you’ll likely send that person walking running in the opposite direction.

Words, Words, Words

Dating advice aside, I am constantly amazed by our English language. The number of words in our language is astounding. Many dictionaries list over 600,000 words. The estimates of how many words we use in our typical vocabulary vary considerably. Some say the typical adult vocabulary holds around 5000 words, others 20,000, and a few sources indicate 70,000 words. Most sources I found indicated vocabulary at the lower end of that scale, between 5000 and 20,000 words.

That means of the 600,000 words available, there are of 520,000 words that we may not even be aware of. I’m not even sure all those words are even necessary. I wonder how many words would be left if you removed all the synonyms. Probably about the same number we have in our actual vocabulary.

So what is the reason for all these extra words? I have a suspicion. I suspect they are for poets… and maybe lawyers. I’m not sure who else needs to be so precise with words as to express the exactly specific word to meet a very specific definition. Poets need a lot of ways to say “beautiful,” and lawyers need a lot of ways to profess “innocence or guilt.”

By the way, have you entered the WSL Bad Poetry Contest yet? I’m sure even bad poets need a lot of words that mean the same thing.

I’m going to wrap up this post with a few words I like, and a few that I dislike. I’m hoping you’ll jump in on this action in the comments section.

Words of Floriferous Splendor

Polliwog – such a cute name for a baby frog. Much better than wiggle-head, from which the term is derived.

Onomatopoeia – recalled from my high school English days, I really just like the way it sounds, which oddly enough isn’t anything like its definition.

Delectable and Fantastic – two words that are better than good.
Words of Dyspeptic Stench

Superfluous – it’s just excessive and unnecessary.

Plethora – was cool the first time I heard it, but a plethora of plethoras is just too much.

LOL – not actually a word, but I dislike the misuse of the “laugh out loud,” when it’s typically more of a slight chuckle. Perhaps we should introduce the SC to replace LOL.

Share Your Words

Let’s hear from you. What words do you like or dislike, either for the sound, definition, or for their popularity or lack thereof. Also, if you happen to pick up a librarian using my techniques above, I would really like to hear about it as I’ll be amazed and astounded if it actually works.

About The Author:

Eric Watermolen is a lifestyle blogger and amateur philosopher. He enjoys discussions of our path in life; where the path leads, the adventure along the path, and the unseen forces that guide us as we progress along our own personal path. You can find him at Eden Journal where he posts a wide spectrum of articles from personal development to spiritual and philosophical awakenings.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eduard @ People Skills Decoded June 10, 2010, 2:11 am

    Goooo Eric!

    I was wondering when I was gonna see a post about pick-up on this blog. And it didn’t disappoint.

    I think that verbal skills are very attractive and just as underestimated trait to have. In can do wonders in creating some chemistry. Even if the other person doesn’t understand every word you’re using, that in itself can come off as very sexy 🙂

    • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 5:19 am

      Eduard, thanks for the kind words. I agree, verbal skills are sexy. A funny thing about writing; this guest post didn’t start out as a pick-up post, but with a word like pulchritude, it was a natural progression.

  • Piers June 10, 2010, 4:31 am

    Nice post, I think I’ll try pulchritudinous out on my wife later!

    It reminds me as well that, for the sake of accuracy, a friend and I tried to spread the internet abbreviation of “SoA” for “Snort of Amusement”, which we felt was more often accurate. I’m still quite fond of it!

  • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 5:23 am

    Hey Josh, Thanks for hosting me, and thanks for the writing challenge. I really enjoyed the challenge of crafting a post around a word I had never heard before. It was a fun exericse in creativity.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 10, 2010, 10:29 am

      You’re welcome Eric, but I’m extremely disappointed that you think pulchritude is an ugly word. Say it 1,000,000 times and reevaluate.

  • jean sampson June 10, 2010, 5:28 am

    I am a poet who hates the word crepuscular, meaning twilight. I think it is the pus reference in that word that gets me. I like to use simple words like luscious that people have in their viscera- —-I have to feel each word I use—it does limit my vocabulary but increases the impact of lyric poems. I have also lost the ability to spell. Oh, well.

    • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 5:51 am

      Jean, crepuscular sounds disgusting. I can relate to feeling each word. My brain sometimes locks up until the right word works its way out. Spell check has killed the ability to spell for a great many people, myself included.

      • Shane Hudson June 10, 2010, 11:54 am

        What a very strange word! Never heard it before.

        I completely agree that Spell Check has destroyed our spelling. I have always been terrible at spelling but probably because I have always (being rather young anyway) relied on spell checkers. One word that gets me every time is unfortunately (yep, I had to google it :P)

    • Josh Hanagarne June 10, 2010, 10:27 am

      Agreed. Every day I see the Spanish-language novel “Crepuscolo” and the sound, even in my head, makes me shiver. I also hate the word luscious:) I really, really do. Not sure why.

  • Todd June 10, 2010, 6:35 am

    Great post, Eric. I’m fond of the word “etcetera”. It just sounds badass when used with a Sharp T and rolled R rolled.

  • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 7:29 am

    Todd, I’d have to say that I like the full word much better than the abbreviation.

  • Shane Hudson June 10, 2010, 8:27 am

    Haha! Firstly, it is funny that you say we should use SC instead of LOL… it used to annoy me to know end (though I have now joined the wagon and use it quite a bit) so I used to say LIH – Laugh In Head!

    Just last night I was trying to think of other words for beautiful, I have never heard of Pulchritudinous! So thank you very much haha.

    @Todd Etcetera is such a lovely word, unfortunately whenever I write it in college the teacher usually asks me to change to “etc.” I have no idea why!

    • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 10:35 am

      LIH, I like it. Let’s start a movement to replace LOL with LIH for the 99.999% of the times we don’t actually laugh out loud. I’m going to start using it today.

      • Shane Hudson June 10, 2010, 10:47 am

        LIH! How shall we go about this movement? Haha Josh you in? 😛

  • Lori Franklin June 10, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Hi Eric,
    I enjoyed this.
    I’ve always liked the word schadenfreude for the way a complex emotion is summarized in a single word. I love words of economy. Oh, and I’m with you guys, LIH is a keeper.

    • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 2:12 pm

      Lori, that’s a fun word to say, but it’s meaning is not a very nice concept. 🙁 Wikipedia terms the opposite of that as “mudita,” and I think I like that much better. 🙂

  • Jodi Kaplan June 10, 2010, 2:36 pm

    Ah, but “The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is the difference between the lightning and the lightning bug.”
    — Mark Twain

    I find all those synonyms exhilarating; the subtle differences between “remarkable,” “extraordinary”, “exceptional,” and “amazing” are delightful.

    But then, I’m a copywriter and I’m weird.

    • Josh Hanagarne June 10, 2010, 6:49 pm

      I like ’em too.

      • Eric | Eden Journal June 10, 2010, 8:10 pm

        Jodi, that Mark Twain quote is a zinger. Let’s just compromise and say that copywriters, librarians, and Mark Twain can join poets and lawyers on the list of folks that need synonyms. 🙂