The Superior Person’s Third Book of Well-bred Words

A dictionary for those who perceive a difference, a handbook for Superior Persons who love words.

Yes, the new millennium brought with it the long-awaited third volume in the series of cult word books devoted exclusively to the service of Superior People. It’s all here; a picturesque panoply of words that neither you nor anyone else has ever heard of, plus advice on using them in ways that will confound your friends and irritate your enemies beyond all measure. Bowler provides you not only with an expanded arsenal of words themselves, but also a genuine sense of the words and how to toss them off with devastating effect. And there’s even more; anecdotes of eccentric scholars, great mistakes of the rich and famous, idiotic concepts, and further oddities and curiosities of the so-called intellectual life.

Yes, friends, it is all here; over 250 new and sonifacient words that will (for those of you new to the genre) equip you with new and better verbal weapons with which to verbigerate your friends and golgonize your enemies. Words that will, so to speak, that give the reader a more finely tuned engine of the language they speak, so that they may the more readily assert their linguistic superiority over their fellow travelers at the traffic stops of life.

from The Superior Person’s Third Book of Weird & Wondrous Words:

DHARNA n. In eastern civilisations, a method of claiming justice by fasting, to death if need be, before the door of the oppressor from or against whom justice is being sought. In western civilisations we have, of course, the Teenager’s Sulk. “James, the concept of dharna, which you have so ably introduced into this little disagreement with your parents, certainly covers the refusal to eat your vegetables, but it does not extend to your taking regular trips down the road to the nearest fast food outlet.”

LAZARETTO n. A hospital or house for the victims of plague or other quarantinable diseases (originally leprosy). Yes, yet another nice term for your brother’s bedroom.

Praise for The Superior Person

Nothing short of a brief dictionary for those who aspire to linguistic snobbery.
—St. Petersburg Times

A lexicon devoid of practical value but replete with entertaining possibilities. . .Not for the faint of wit.
—Publishers Weekly


Peter Bowler, our ageless author, has to his name several other published books – mostly irreverent paperbacks which treat serious subjects, such as death and religion, with regrettable flippancy. He has also written a book about child development, but could find nothing funny in that. His most recent book is the 1998 novel Human Remains. Today these books are mostly, as the French say, introuvable, lending them an intrinsic attraction for those who aspire to the unattainable.