LAPILLUS n. A tiny pebble thrown out by a volcano. "And what lapillus can we expect to emerge from the ferment of your mighty intellect tonight, Herr Doktor?"
LUMBRICOID a. Like an earthworm. "I respect your aspirations as a bodybuilder, Gilbert; but as a lover you're just too lumbricoid."
Such is the superior stuff of this wry little book for the vocabularyobsessed among us. This omnibus edition compiles more than 1,000 neglected but delightfully precise terms, offering definitions as well as practical advice on how to use them in regular speech, to "confuse, deter, embarrass, humiliate, puzzle, deceive, disconcert, alarm, insult (and occasionally compliment)" friends and foes. Be sure to memorize a few choice words: the potential for marvelous malapropisms is intoxicating! You'll wonder how you survived this long without Peter Bowler's mischievous help. (EE)