Otiose a Serving no useful purpose. Alternatively: leisurely. Both meanings presumably come from the same Latin origin, otium (leisure) – in the former case no doubt via the intermediate concept of idle. The overtones of odius, adipose, and obsese make this a useful word for unsettling the ignorant in a casual conversation.
Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Otiose appears in the First.