inkhorn term


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inkhorn term

An obscure term from another language (most often Latin or Greek), typically used in an attempt to highlight the speaker's intelligence. I can't stand that guy and his inkhorn terms—I feel like I need to have a dictionary on hand just to talk to him!
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Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(11) When Galimatias addresses his army before the climactic battle, his speech is filled with recondite classical allusions and inkhorn terms: the Persian king Xerxes is identified as "Mastigothalasse" ("Sea-Whipper"), Greece is "melliflue" ("flowing-with-honey"), and Rome, "Ia bellipotente" ("warrior-like") (59-60).
Wilson, for instance, calls clerks who cannot dress their thought in appropriate language "slouens" (161), that is, people who are poorly clothed and hence, lower class; Puttenham notes that inkhorn terms especially delight "the common people" (96); and Furetiere says that no one of noble birth lives in Pedanterie, whose leader comes from the "dregs of the people" and whose inhabitants are all "dirty," their clothing consisting of "robes crotees, souliers plats, [et] linge sale" (100: filthy robes, fiat shoes, [and] dirty linen).
(9.) McAlindon observes that the debate about inkhorn terms is always part of the discussion of decorum in the Renaissance (13).