Here are a dozen words with oddly specific meanings. I stopped at twelve because I’m a bit triskaidekaphobic.

  1. halfpace - small landing at the top of a flight of stairs where you have to turn and take another flight of stairs whether going up or down.

  2. petrichor - a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather.

  3. xertz - the act of gulping something down in haste.

  4. defenestrate - to throw someone or something out of a window.

  5. biblioklept - one who steals books.

  6. vellichor - the strange wistfulness of a second-hand bookshop.

  7. paraprosdokian - a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reinterpret the first part.

  8. triskaidekaphobia - extreme superstition regarding the number 13.

  9. schadenfreude - pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

  10. quire - 25 sheets of paper.

  11. jentacular - of or pertaining to a breakfast taken early in the morning, or immediately upon getting up.

  12. nudiustertian - of or relating to the day before yesterday.