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Is there an English word meaning "the use of uncommon words" or similar?

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7 Answers 7

It depends on what you mean by "uncommon". Lexiphanicism is the use of excessive terminology, while patavinity is the use of local or provincial words.

(I hope you are not just looking for slang or jargon.)

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2  
+1 : Wow two new words learned in a single answer! –  hippietrail May 21 '11 at 6:54
    
Thank you, thank you for telling me about lexiphanicism. What a beautiful word. I'll keep it on my desktop, and wait for an opportunity to use it. –  Pitarou Oct 23 '12 at 10:42

In the category of similar words, there's sesquipedalian, meaning prone to using long words.

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If the uncommon words are being used specifically to obscure meaning, then "obfuscation" might apply.

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Obfuscation could be achieved with uncommon use of common words as well. –  Kris Oct 23 '12 at 10:20

If you mean use of words or meanings that are outdated, you might be looking for archaic.

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Depending on how and why you want to use it, logorrhea (also spelled logorrhoea) might do the trick. It doesn't specifically mean using uncommon words but either a. excessive verbosity generally or b. a psychological disorder resulting in incoherent talkativeness.

As an added bonus it conjures up a little hint of a certain other word ending -rrhea.

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Obscurantist is related to the 'obfuscation' direction of your question.

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Esoteric Writing

Esoteric (merriam-webster)
1 a : designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone
a body of esoteric legal doctrine — B. N. Cardozo
b : requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group
esoteric terminology;
broadly : difficult to understand esoteric subjects

esoteric (wiktionary)
1. Understood only by a chosen few or an enlightened inner circle.
The writing in this manual is very esoteric; I need a degree in engineering just to understand it!

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