Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Unctuous

Posted at — Jul 21, 2020

I’m in the process of reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, and admittedly, much of the vocabulary in the preface of the book was challenging for me. I enjoy encountering words that are novel and out of my traditional vocabulary, as incorporating it within my own helps me better communicate my ideas.

The new word is unctuous, an adjective with a few meanings.

  1. To be excessively flattering, insincerely earnest. Ex: Think of that annoying server who is being extremely pleasant, but you know it’s likely a ploy to receive extra tips.

  2. Having characteristics of oil

  3. Being composed of oil or fat

I think when voicing an opinion about a particularly buttery food, this word precisely encapsulates the feeling associated with that experience. That feeling when your entire palette is encroached in a layer of oil or fat, to the point of distaste or discomfort.

Normally when I encounter a new word, I search up the definition, but often leave it at that. I suppose exploring it at a slightly deeper level, like in this post, will help them stick.

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