Stickybeak’s Express Lexicon. Dithyrambic

Stickybeak’s Express Lexicon


Time constraints this week mean that I can offer neither a flash fiction nor one of my regular pieces for Stickybeak’s Lexicon. However, I would still like to post something of value, so I have come up with the astonishingly novel idea of a shortened version of the Lexicon. Think of it as the fast-food variant; a take-away snippet of vocabulary to file away for future use. I had several titles for this new series (as it has the makings of a regular feature for the flyingscribbler), amongst which: ‘Easy Stickybeak’, ‘Stickybeak Lite’ and ‘Stickybeak Minis’. I decided that ‘Stickybeak’s Express Lexicon’ best suited me. Here is the first entry. Let me know if you have ever, or intend to, use the word in your own writing.



A dithyramb, in ancient Greece, was a wild, impassioned choral hymn sung in honour of Bacchus. It is a poem or piece of writing in wildly rapturous or bombastic vein.

The adjective dithyrambic means wild, rapturous and boisterous. (Chambers Concise).


I came across this wonderfully exotic word whilst reading Edmund White’s ‘City Boy’. In one passage he describes how he wrote, for a magazine he edited, a glowing review of something Nabokov had written, having already received less favourable contributions from everyone else he’d approached:

“Of course, as an idolator I was scandalized by the measured tone of my contributors, and so my own page became all the more dithyrambic.”



Not perhaps the easiest word to use in one’s writing, and certainly tricky to insert into everyday speech (although this depends largely on your audience), but it’s a beautiful word to file away for a rainy day.


© flyingscribbler 2012


2 comments on “Stickybeak’s Express Lexicon. Dithyrambic

  1. Helen says:

    What an interesting word but I agree not easy to insert in writing. I enjoy reading about the new words you find Justin. ^_^

  2. John Wiswell says:

    That is just a sweet word. Funny that few people would use it; if kids meet those descriptions, they’re usually complained about.

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