5 P Words You Should Know (Bates)

by a contributor

from Beth Bates, author of  Feed or Flush:

Putative – A word you know without looking up if you scored 2100 or above on your SATs. A word my 15-year-old wields like a 5th grade vocab word and that he recently used to flip the bird at his choir teacher over a disappointing audition result, in an essay he was assigned to make up for missing six weeks of choir due to mono. As in, I heard flattering predictions regarding my placement, but alas, I was placed in Allegro, the putative overflow group supposedly created to accommodate the excess auditioners.”

Paranoid schizophrenic – Wildly exaggerated, misunderstood, misused. Not the same as multiple personality disorder. And, very few paranoid schizophrenics are criminals, or even violent. But maybe a voice in your head already told you that. Read more about common misconceptions here.

Persimmon – Native to Indiana, this tree fruit is just the prettiest thing. Hoosiers get all twitterpated over it around Thanksgiving, it’s embarrassing, comparing and boasting recipes for persimmon pudding and the like on Facebook. I want to like it; I do. But, for me, it presents texture problems. Looks like a cute little orange tomato but tastes to me like a bland, mushy peach. Some people say it smells like sperm. (But I wouldn’t know about that, Mom.)

Penetralia – My husband’s and my favorite word. No one knows what it means, Word red-underlines it, and it sounds pornographic. If you can find a person who uses it in everyday conversation, send me her contact information; I wanna party with her. I’d tell you what it means (but that’s penetralia).

Pabulum. So fun to say! Pabulum! Pabulum! Pabulum!
pabulum |'pabyələm|
noun(also pablum |'pabləm|)
bland or insipid intellectual fare, entertainment, etc.
antonym: Treehouse

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