What could possibly be more interesting than discovering words that none of your friends and family have ever even heard of? These totally unique words, most of which have been overlooked by even the most erudite of English-speakers, have their own stories, meanings, and characters. These words can be fun to use in conversation, and you don’t have to be a literary scholar or an expert linguist to appreciate them.

In this article, we’ll explore some of these truly unique words, learning their origins and finding out how to use them. By the end of it, you may even find an unexpected bond with some of your newfound words, or simply a plethora of interesting words to drop into conversation whenever you need.

 Unique Words

We all know those words we use on an everyday basis – those that form a part of our vocabularies but don’t really stand out anymore. On the other hand, some words are so special they don’t even register as belonging to a specific language. Unique words are those that have somehow emerged from all the others, as if they were born in a time capsule and only recently set free.

Unique words can be quite captivating. They usually contain a complexity that isn’t found in everyday language, and this complexity often comes with a deep history and meaning. While there are many incredible words that don’t exist in English, there are plenty of rare words even within the English language itself. Here are some totally unique words that most people have never heard of.


The word pelagianism is derived from the name of a British theologian and monk named Pelagius (354–420 AD). The term is used to describe the teachings of Pelagius, which hold that humans actually possess the ability to do moral good on their own, without requiring the assistance of divine grace. Pelagianism is a type of heresy in the Christian faith, and it is widely considered heretical by many Catholic and Protestant denominations.


This unique Italian word speaks to the concept of the unattainable. Irraggiungibile has a beautiful sound to it but it also conveys a feeling of sadness and longing for something that can never quite be achieved. The literal translation of this word is “unachievable”, but it also carries with it a sense of finality – as if it were impossible to attain something.


Nycteribiid is a term used to describe a type of small parasitic fly that is known for its ability to prey on bats. This parasitic fly lives in the fur of bats, and is the only known species in its family. Nycteribiid is a great example of a unique scientific word that is not widely known or spoken about, but still captures the complexity of the natural world.


Glycerol is a unique word often used in chemistry. It is a trihydroxy alcohol that is made up of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. It is often used as an additive in food and beverages, and it is also essential to the production of soap and other oils. The name of the word is derived from the Greek words glykys (meaning “sweet”), and ol (meaning “oily”).


Chortle is a unique word that is used to describe a laugh that is usually a combination of a chuckle and a snort. The origin of this word is thought to be a combination of the words “chuckle” and “snort”. It is a fun word to use when someone finds something particularly amusing.


This word refers to the fear of failure, which is a common anxiety for many people. The origins of this word are not known for sure, but it is likely a combination of two Greek words: kakos, meaning “bad” or “evil”; and rhaphis, meaning “a clinch”. Kakorrhaphiophobia is an interesting word to use when referring to the fear of failing.


Most people have never heard of the word rabanculous, but it is an incredibly unique adjective that can be used to describe something that is disorderly or out of control. Rabanculous has a wonderfully unique sound to it, and is a great way to spice up a conversation and add a bit of color.

These unique words may not be a part of the everyday vernacular just yet, but they all have fascinating stories that speak to their complexities and origins. They are fun to use in conversation, and can be a great way to show off your knowledge of rare words.

For anyone looking for more unusual words to add to their vocabulary, there are plenty more out there waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re looking for words related to science, literature, or history, you’re sure to find something totally unique and incredibly interesting!