I was once much impressed by a woman who dropped the word pantechnicon into conversation, without any irony too.
And for years I thought pantechnicon meant a large removal lorry, which of course it does. But this weekend I saw the original pantechnicon. It's a building in Belgravia (one of the poshest bits of London) that is called The Pantechnicon and was built for posh people to store their posh things in, hundreds of posh years ago (*).
The lorries which carried the goods into and out of storage from the building became known as pantechnicons. I know, great eh? Anyway, that was one of the many highlights on the Upstairs Downstairs walk of Belgravia I did this weekend with The Women's Libary in London. So as well as getting to walk around a posh bit of London I'd never normally visit, I learned one heck of a lot.
(*) The building now houses a posh people's bank and a Starbucks. Boo, hiss.