You might recognize this word from it’s cousin, vertigo, and you’d be right. The two are related, but when vertigo just isn’t the right word for your statement, the English language offers an array of vertigoish words to choose from. Select your word, and you’ll be on your way to sounding smart in no time.
Vertiginous – adj. 1. Whirling or spinning; rotary. The vertiginous action of a top. 2. Affected with vertigo, dizzy.
When vertiginous isn’t enough we also have the noun form, vertiginousness, and, perhaps a little superfluous but for the sake of variety, we have another adjective, vertiginously.
Can’t tell which one is my favorite. They’re all so much fun to say if you can get them out of your mouth. I’m not sure how much use there is for these words other than at Chanukah dinner, but then at least there would be 8 days of vertiginous fun. You can probably get in a lot of “vertiginous” sayings in 8 days.
“Mom, mom, mom! Watch my vertiginous dreidel spin.”
“Mom, look how vertiginous my dreidel is.”
“Mom, my dreidel spun more vertiginously than his dreidel, right?”
“No, mine is more vertiginous!”
“Boys, stop arguing. Both tops are very vertiginous.”
“But mine is more, right, Mom? Right?”
“I can’t verify the vertiginousness of the tops. They both looked the same to me.”
“NO!” the first boy screams, stomping his foot. “Mine was betterrrrrrrrrr!”
“That’s enough,” says the mom. “This conversation is giving me a headache. I’m beginning to feel the same way I did when I was in the doctor’s office and got the news I was pregnant with you boys. As soon as she said ‘twins’ the room seemed to tilt and spin and immediately I got a vertiginous feeling. I thought I might just drop straight onto the floor.”
Like how I fit all the forms into sentences? Not bad, right?
And, just recently, the new weather phenomenon, the Polar Vortex, has broken the opportunity to use these words wide open. The other day The Kid asked me what “vortex” meant, and like I’ve said before, I knew what it was but had trouble explaining it. If only I had known about vertiginousness then, I could have said, “It is a vertiginous cold air mass sweeping the country and making life miserable for everybody.” I mean has there ever been a better word to describe a Polar Vortex?
Now, your turn. Use vertiginous any way you want in a sentence below. You will be graded.
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