Listophilia: Wedding Vocab

Welcome to Listophilia!

For my day job, I’m an event coordinator at a small (but beautiful) event center. We are booked almost every weekend with weddings, so I tend to have matrimony on the brain.

Wedding vocabularies can be extensive, especially since there are so many elements: dresses, food, attendents, etc.

For todays Listophilia, I put together a lovely list (that contains other lists) of some odd-ball wedding-related words. I know you’ve heard of RSVPs, sweetheart necklines, and tiered cakes, but what about dingbats? Gobos?

No? Well, lets hop right in then.


  • Cornelli: A form of piping that creates a three-dimensional pattern of lace and squiggles
  • Dagrees: Small confectionary balls made of sugar, often with a hard outer shell
  • Fondant: edible icing used to decorate or sculpt cakes with a smooth texture and finish
    • The word “fondant” is French in origin, coming from the same root word as “fondue” and “foundry”, meaning “melting”
  • Ganache: A dark, rich combination of chocolate and cream used as a filling or icing
  • Marzipan: Hardened almond paste and sugar, this confection is traditionally used to make realistic cake decorations
    • The exact etymology of “marzipan” is unclear. The Old English equivalent, “marchpane”, was largely replaced by the German “marzipan”, but they both have the same root meaning of “March Bread”. The original meaning could’ve come from Latin (via the Italian word “Marzapane“) or Arabic (via the Spanish word “mazapán“), and there’s also a case that it came from the Persian word “marzban”. Check out the OED for more options, but we may never know.


Cake with fondant design



  • Biedermeier: A bouquet made up of concentric circles of different flowers for a striped effect
  • Boutonnieres: A single bloom (or several small buds) attached to the left lapel of a jacket. Boutonnieres are usually worn by grooms, groomsmen, ushers, and the bride and groom’s fathers.
    • Originally, boutonnieres were a spray of flowers worn in the button hole of a mans jacket, hence the words origin from the French word for “button hole”. However, they are now more commonly pinned onto the lapel of the mans jacket.
  • Pomander: A round “ball” of flowers suspended from a ribbon handle
    • While now used decoratively, pomanders used to have an entirely different purpose. The first pomanders were balls of perfume, worn in medieval times to protect against infection, or merely balance the pungent smell of the unwashed masses.
  • Topiary – Flowers or plants trimmed into geometric shapes


Biedermeier floral design



  • Deckle Edge: Rough, uneven edges on paper that give it an Old World look. Edges are more often torn or die cut to make them look unfinished.
    • A “deckle” is a removable wooden frame or “fence” used in manual papermaking. Originally, deckle edges were unavoidable because the deckle can’t guarantee a water tight seal when pressing the paper pulp. However, now deckle edges are often purposely made by tearing or cutting for the aesthetic.
  • Die cut: A precision cut mainly used in folder cards to create a “window” to text or images behind the first card, often made by lasers
  • Dingbat: A typographical term for a decorative motif used on stationery
    • This word has a wider use outside of wedding invites to mean any ornament, character, or spacer used intypesetting. Some fonts have symbols and shapes in the positions designated for alphabetical or numeric characters, or in the case of the Wingdings font, it’s made entirely of dingbats.


Skyline dingbats on a wedding invitation


Weddings around the world:

  • Nikah– The name of a Muslim wedding ceremony.
  • Chuppah: a decorated piece of cloth held aloft by four poles that Jewish couples are married under, symbolizing a ‘home’ for the new couple
  • Koumbaro (male)/Koumbara (female):  the person who will officially sponsor the marriage in Greek Orthodox Christian weddings
  • Mantilla: A bridal veil based on a Spanish lace or silk scarf worn over the hair and shoulders
  • Bomboniere – The Italian word for wedding favors, which often include Jordan almonds.
    • Jordan almonds are a classic form of dagrees!


Lace and birch chuppah

Did you like todays version of Listophilia? Take a moment to check out previous posts, including Phobia’s and Sesquipedalian Words.


(Resources: Bridal Guide,, Wedding Zone)

Listophilia: Sesquipedalian Words

Welcome to Listophilia!!

As an avid word collector, I love offbeat words just about as much as I love lists. Today’s topic is “Sesquipedalian Words”!

Sesquipedalian is an adjective meaning “given to using long words” or describes a word that contains many syllables. It comes from the Latin word sēsquipedālis which means “measuring a foot and a half”.

Also, to tie into my Listophilia post about phobias, sesquipedalophobia (n) is the fear of long words. If you are sesquipedalophobic, turn away now!

Let’s get started!

  1. pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis (n): an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust
    1. Note: This is generally considered the longest English word, clocking in at 45 letters. That being said, even though it can be found in most major dictionaries, it’s pretty much superfluous, as it was made just to claim that title
  2. pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism (n): a thyroid disorder
    1. Note: This is generally thought to be the longest “non-coined” English word, even though some major dictionaries still refuse to print it
  3. antidisestablishmentarianism (n): doctrine opposed to removing Church of England’s official religion status
  4. arachibutyrophobia (n): fear of peanut butter sticking to roof of mouth
  5. ballistocardiograph (n): instrument for detecting body movements caused by heartbeat
  6. chronosynchronicity (n): presentation of all stages of a person’s life in a single piece of art
  7. floccinaucinihilipilification (n): setting at little or no value
  8. eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious (adj.): very good or very fine
    1. Note: Here is a little history on this word and how my source, The Phrontistery, found this gem
  9. honorificabilitudinity (n): honourableness
    1. Note: Another form of this word, honorificabilitudinitatibus, is the longest word Shakespeare ever used, with 27 letters
  10. ichthyoacanthotoxism (n): poisoning from the sting or bite of a fish
  11. micropalaeontology (n): study of microscopic fossils
  12. pantochronometer (n):  combined sundial and compass
  13. polyphiloprogenitive (adj.): very fertile; very imaginative
  14. pseudochromaesthesia (n): mental association of sounds with colors
  15. spectroheliokinematograph (n): camera for taking pictures of the sun

What long words do you use on a daily basis?

(Resources: The Phrontistery,, Mental Floss, Wordsmith.Org)

Listophilia: Phobia’s

Welcome to Listophilia!!

As an avid word collector, I love offbeat words just about as much as I love lists. Today, we will be looking at the word-forming element “-phobia”!

While “phobia” can be a word-forming element, it also exists as a stand alone word: A phobia (n) is an “irrational fear, horror, aversion.” The word comes from the Greek word “phobos”, meaning “fear, panic fear, terror, outward show of fear; object of fear or terror.” In clinical psychology, a phobia “is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance.” When combined with another word or root word, “-phobia” indicates a fear of that thing. For instance, “agora” is Greek for “marketplace, meeting place”, and agoraphobia is the fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas. It’s other form is “-phobic”, which turns the word into an adjective.

The following list has some of the most interesting or most humorous I found when combing through a couple different resources. While some of them sound pretty funny, these are actual disorders that people suffer from, so keep that in mind.

Let’s get started!

  1. Acerophobia (n): fear of sourness.
  2. Anglophobia (n: fear of England or the English
  3. Cathisophobia (n): fear of sitting
  4. Dextrophobia (n): fear of objects at the right side of the body.
  5. Eleutherophobia (n): fear of freedom
  6. Geniophobia (n): fear of chins
  7. Linonophobia (n): fear of string
  8. Metrophobia (n): fear of poetry
  9. Novercaphobia (n): fear of one’s stepmother
  10. Ophthalmophobia (n): fear of being stared at
  11. Papaphobia (n): fear of the Pope.
  12. Porphyrophobia (n): fear of the color purple.
  13. Pteronophobia (n): fear of being tickled by feathers
  14. Venustraphobia (n): fear of beautiful women.
  15. Zemmiphobia (n): fear of the great mole rat.

What other “phobia” words have you come across?

(Resources: The PhrontisteryOnline Etymology Dictionary, The Phobia List, The Mayo Clinic)

Listophilia: Philia’s

Welcome to Listophilia!!

As an avid word collector, I love offbeat words just about as much as I love lists. To kick things off, we will start with the word-forming element “philia” from the title.

When “-philia”, or any of its forms, is added onto a word or root word, it indicates “a tendency towards” or “an abnormal liking for”. For instance, my ‘Listophilia’ title indicates an abnormal liking for lists. Which seemed about right. It comes from the Greek word philía, meaning “friendship, affinity, affection”. You can also see it as “-phile”, “-philic”, “-philous”, “-philist” or “-phily”.

So, let’s get started!

  1. apodysophilia (n): a form of exhibitionism, feverish desire to undress
  2. arctophile (n): a person who is very fond of and is usually a collector of teddy bears
  3. chasmophilous (adj): fond of nooks, crevices and crannies
  4. chromophilous (adj): staining easily
  5. chrysophilist (n): a lover of gold
  6. dendrophilous (adj): fond of trees
  7. gynotikolobomassophile (n): one who nibbles on women’s earlobes
  8. labeorphily (n): collection and study of beer bottle labels
  9. neophile (n): one who loves novelty and trends
  10. oenophile (n): one who is fond of or loves wine
  11. peristerophily (n): pigeon-collecting, or the rearing of pigeons; specifically, the training of carrier-pigeons for military service.
  12. pogonophile (n): one who loves, or is attracted to, beards
  13. stegophilist (n): one who climbs buildings for fun
  14. stigmatophilia (n): obsession with tattooing or branding
  15. turophile (n): cheese lover

What other “-philia” words do you enjoy?

(Resources: The Phrontistery,