GRE Vocabulary Building: Egregious Insults and Horror Movies

by Megan on Friday, February 26th, 2016 No Comments

insult word cloudI took the GRE this week. It was my first standardized test in decades (yes, ‘decades’ with an ‘s’!) and something I had to do because I am looking at taking classes for a masters later this year. With two small kids, a job, and life in general, it was almost impossible to find time to study, and when I did, I wasn’t thrilled to be spending my time with tasks such as memorizing the side-length proportions of a 30-60-90 triangle.

The exception was vocabulary building for the verbal section. I love learning new words and cementing my understanding of words that I previously could recognize in context but did not know well enough to use them in my own writing.

I found it entertaining that a ton of the GRE study words on lists like Princeton Review’s Hit Parade were words that described awful people. These are nouns and verbs that nobody would every want anyone to use to describe them. Words that would be the worst insults ever, as in “heck with cursing, pull out one of these guys the next time you want to really hurt someone’s feelings!”

odious: evoking intense aversion or dislike

insipid: lacking in qualities that interest, stimulate, challenge

virulent: extremely harmful or poisonous; bitterly hostile

profligate: excessively wasteful

sordid: characterized by filth, greed, squalor; foul

obdurate: unyielding; hard-hearted

prosaic: dull; lacking in spirit or imagination

avarice: greed, especially for wealth

horror movie titles(By the way, these definitions are taken from the backs of my study flashcards, meaning that the definitions are not official, rather, my condensed version of a definition that I hand-copied from sources such as online dictionaries, GRE study books, and my Kindle’s vocabulary builder.)

There were also lots of words on GRE study lists that would make great horror movie titles (or already were horror movie titles), like:

pernicious: extremely harmful in a way that is not easily seen or noticed

derision: contemptuous ridicule

insidious: causing harm gradually or in a way not noticed


Posted in Writing.




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