I am writing a college essay and I cannot find a proper word to describe one's inability to move without dropping thing. the sentence is

... ended up in silty sea floor of the ocean because of my _________.

I want to plug something like 'coordination incompetence', but don't know whether it will work.

Also, I want the word to sound somehow formally humorous. Literary allusions will work as well.

  • 3
    – Jim
    Aug 23, 2017 at 17:19
  • Well, I want the word to sound somehow more formal and phrasal like "coordination incompetence." Any ideas about this?
    – user241133
    Aug 23, 2017 at 17:41
  • 1
    manual ineptitude?
    – Jim
    Aug 23, 2017 at 17:50
  • In my world, one generally says klutziness. A fancy phrase would be sensory integration disorder, or difficulties with motor planning. Aug 24, 2017 at 1:39
  • Awkward--formal enough.
    – Xanne
    Aug 24, 2017 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


'egregious dexterity' also used in 'The Works of the Reverend and Learned Mr. John Gregory' from 1684. 'dexterity' gives you 'the ability to perform a difficult action quickly and skilfully with the hands' according to the Cambridge English Dictionary and 'egregious' gives you extraordinary but in a bad way. Also it sounds amusing because of the element of surprise of combining 'egregious' with the positively connotated 'dexterity', because of the formality compared to 'clumsy', because both words have amusing amounts of velar consonants in them, and because it's like you're so brilliant with your hands that you've gone full circle and become crap.

  • of the same vein, egregious prestidigitry... Aug 23, 2017 at 19:25
  • @marcellothearcane haha prestidigitry is a good one. I can't find it in a dictionary by googling it though - only prestidigitation. Do you have a source?
    – Nworb
    Aug 23, 2017 at 19:33
  • I made it up :P Aug 24, 2017 at 17:37


Inefficient or inept; clumsy. ODO.

  • You've mentioned the noun but given the definition of the adjective. Dec 28, 2020 at 16:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.