You've likely taken yourself to vertiginous heights if you've ever been to the top of a skyscraper or even on a Ferris wheel. And spinning around on a swivel chair can produce vertiginous effects. As you may have inferred, vertiginous means of, affected by, or causing vertigo; dizzy or dizzying. It can also mean spinning; or marked by quick or frequent change, unstable. In Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, the town apothecary sarcastically scolds his assistant for fainting during a medical procedure involving blood: "Fool!" he said, "really a little fool! A fool in four letters! A phlebotomy's a big affair, isn't it! And a fellow who isn't afraid of anything; a kind of squirrel, just as he is who climbs to vertiginous heights to shake down nuts. . . ."