Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) The habit of using a pompous or turgid style in speaking or writing.
This word comes from the Greek ‘lexikos,’ pertaining to words, plus the Latin ‘fanaticus,’ inspired by orgiastic rites, pertaining to a temple, from ‘fanum,’ temple.
“If a man is, after a fashion, clever, witty, keen, dashy, pungent, and withal well versed in lexiphanicism, he is at once set down and loudly eulogised in flippant periodicals as a man of genius, an original character, a superior person, a grand and nobly gifted soul, and what not; whereas, in the true sense of the term, he is not a genius at all, but a poor parrot, retailing the thoughts and sentiments of others, a mere parasite having no life force of his own.”
“Guard constantly against the use of big words words the children do not understand. Adults may survive stupendous lexiphanicism but children sink beneath it. Learn to use the simple language of childhood.”