Vocabulary Vitamin for June 26: Eloquent Name-Calling

Today's Vocabulary Vitamin is a somewhat tactful way to call someone a self important bore. Take this with a grain of glee and use it wisely: Panjandrum, No doubt you are far too gracious and polite to label every self important, pompous, overbearing person you run across a self-important, pompous, overbearing person. However, you might be able to work this into the conversation: "You really are a panjandrum."

Originally used in 1856 by Samuel Foote as a mock title for an officious personage dubbed the Grand Panjandrum , this word is a very satisfying way to say "You pretentious oaf" and remain eloquent. If many such oafs abound, use the plural "panjandrums" or "panjandra."

Note how taking your Vocabulary Vitamins is already making you capable of wending your way through difficult and unpleasant social situations with some descriptive aplomb. Vocabulary Vitamins is an (almost) daily series based on the belief that a word a day keeps the inarticulate away. In the spreadsheet of life, under the column marked "Vocabulary" I have this notation: "Dwindling." Yes, it's true, I, former world class wordsmith, lover of etymology, and polysyllabic pontificant, have come to the point where a word may attract my attention like a once loved face, and my reaction is "Dear Word, once I knew you, but time and age have dulled my recollection. Please explain yourself."

Join me in daily word calisthenics as we take today's Vocabulary Buiding Vitamin.

Panjandrum(Pan JAM drum) noun
A mock title for an offiicial of exaggerated importance or great pretensions, coined by Samuel Foote.
A self-important, pompous overbearing person.

Now use it in a sentence and it's yours forever to use on the unwitting panjandra of the world.