Susie Dent shares her three curious words for the week

Virgin Radio

27 Sep 2023, 14:19

Credit: Virgin Radio / X @susie_dent 

When Countdown star Susie Dent visited Virgin Radio, she took the time to tell us three curious words and their meaning.

Susie joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch yesterday (26th September) to talk about her new book, Interesting Stories about Curious Words: From Stealing Thunder to Red Herrings, which is out this Thursday, 28th September. 

While at the top of the tower, the Dictionary Corner icon dipped into her new book for us, to reveal some words that you probably haven’t heard before, and explained their meaning.


“This is a really old US term meaning an unscrupulous politician, one without principle,” the linguist and lexicographer told us.


“My second one, because I have a feeling it might be coming our way soon, is Apricity, and that’s the warmth of the sun on a winter’s day, which I just adore,” Susie said.


For the last of her selected curious words, the TV personality said: “I’m going to go for a really beautiful lost positive, which is respair.”

She added: “Respair is fresh hope and a recovery from despair. So, here’s to respair for all of us.”

When speaking to Chris Evans about her new book, Susie said: “I've done so many origins of words, and some of them are quite random. And some of them are very well known. And it was just really nice to bring them all together.”

After Virgin Radio’s Rachel Horne opened up on the show about a recent non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis, Susie recalled her own experience. “My GP said, ‘I'm going to say the word carcinoma, but don't panic’. And then they took it off, they kind of excised it. So I've got a bit of a kind of scar under my eye.”

She told listeners: “Just beware, because they don't always look like moles or things that you would expect, and they can just look like little cuts.”

Encouraging listeners to get checked if they have anything they are worried about, she added: “Never be too embarrassed if it does end up being something that is completely benign.” Read more here.

Interesting Stories About Curious Words is out this Thursday 28th September. 

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.