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After my last entry, I figured I needed some calming down; let’s have a bit of fun in this one. I haven’t posted a ‘words’ entry much to the delight of certain Board Members (who find them boring as all get-out).

Here’s some juicy ones I’ve been sucking on for a while; they are apropos for the times:

Apoplectic – overcomes with anger; extremely indignant

Cachinnate – to laugh loudly, immoderately, with sense this is irritating to others.

Expergefacotor – something that wakes you up.

Imprecation – a curse – a nasty one at that

Kakistocracy – a system of government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous people.

Karoshi  – death from working too much.

Roue – a man devoted to a life of sensual pleasure (or) a connoisseur of rolling down grass hills.

Spurious – not genuine, authentic, or true; counterfeit.

Sequacious – (of a person) lacking independence or originality of thought.

Stelliferous – filled with stars; starry.

Thrall – a person in bondage; a slave.

and

Trump –  (British slang)  A fart. Not just any type but a loud and fetid one.

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Today is the feast day of the nativity of William Shakespeare AKA Shakespeare’s birthday.  Although he is best known for his eloquent words, when he needed to Bill could be a bitch. In honor of the day I thought I would mention some of my favorite insults and slurs from his plays.   This one is for all you rampallians and fustilarians  – enjoy !

Beetle-headed flap-eared knave.

A fusty nut with no kernel.

O gull, o dolt, as ignorant as dirt.

A lump of foul deformity.

An infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker.

All eyes and no sight.

Highly fed and lowly taught. 

Thou leathern-jerkin, crystal-button, knot-pated, agatering, puke-stocking, caddis-garter, smooth-tongue, Spanish pouch!

I do desire we may be better strangers.

Long-tongued babbling gossip.

Light of brain.

His wit’s as thick as Tewkesbury mustard.

Mountain of mad flesh.

Not so much brain as ear wax.

You canker blossom !

You poisonous bunch backed toad!

Thou art a boil, a plague sore!

and (my favorite)

The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.

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th    Today is the feast day of the nativity of my main man (in the literature department) Charles Dickens. Like Shakespeare he made up words that have crept into common use.*

I like fancy and fustian words and I like Dickens, so in honor of the day I put out the welcome doormat (for he invented that word) and provide some jolly words.

Dickens is attributed to making up nearly 200 words and expressions. Here are some wordsI bet you didn’t know are attributed to Mr. Dickens:

Abuzz

Bulgy

The creeps

Earful

Funky

On a rampage

Devil-may-care

Messiness

and

Snobbish

There are also a handful of lovely Dickens-words that didn’t get into the muscle memory of modern English. but I think they are worth reviving:

Sawbones – a slang term for a surgeon or physician in general. Crude but apt, no?

Lummy – an adjective meaning cute.

 

There are also some words derived from Dickens’ characters which are also worth using:

Tapleyism – (adj.) named after an optimistic fellow named Tapley in “Martin Chuzzulwit”, it means being cheerful and optimistic even in the most dirge of circumstances.

Grandgrind – (n.) from “Hard Times”, a grandgrind is a no-nonsense humorless person only interested in facts and not with banter, fluff, and nonsense.  This is not a complimentary term.

Podsnappery – (adj.) this one we must revive!  It means being obstinate and refusing to accept unpleasant facts.

 

Finally I will address ‘The Dickens-boredom’ debate. It is a common belief Charlie-boy invented the word boredom.  Alas he did not, although he helped to develop the modern day use of the word.  I forget what miscreant said this but here it is:

 “Charles Dickens may not have invented boredom, but he certainly perfected it.”

Oh, the horror!

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*There is controversy if Bill or Chuck actually made words up or merely used words common at the time we attribute to them as that is where everyone first read them. I like the notion of writers making up new and clever words. People do it all the time anyway and we seldom know who did thi

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A certain Spo-fan well over four feet has remonstrated my word posts do not have non-English words.  There is a request for French ones.   I don’t know much French and what I do know sounds dreadful so I don’t use them much.  Here are a few choice words – and phrases for you. Try using them in an email today.  I’ve removed some of the pesky accents and unnecessary trappings that often come with French words to make the language more sensible.

 

Passe-partout – something that lets you get by or through everything.

Roue – a debauched man; a man who lives for pleasure; a poor pensioner.

Savoir faire – the ability to act or speak accordingly.

Confrere – one’s partners, especially in scurrilous activities.

Enfuyons nous ensemble sur mon yacht mon petit chou – come away with me to my yacht my little cabbage.

Ciel! Votre mari !   – Sh-t! It’s your husband !

Dis-moi ou est ma tete?   Tell me, where is my head right now?

Vous êtes une super nana – you are one fabulous babe.

Reviens chéri vers moi non nez n’importe pas – come back to me darling my nose doesn’t matter.

Vous avez joue dans Blanche Neige, pas vrai?  You played along Snow White did you not?

Rechauffe – French food/cuisine.

Phillipe – Philloppe –  a French-Canadian who is wearing sandals

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I haven’t done a “Wicked Words” entry lately.  My time and libido (psychic energy) has been channeled into Duolingo for Spanish and German words rather.  A Spo-fan recently requested a fresh set of words. He needs some fancy words to use at the holiday parties as his party trick.

Here’s some lovelies:

Addle (v.) – make unable to think clearly; confuse.  I think there is an adjective of this: ‘addled’ as in my brains are addled.

Avolition  –  Having no desire to initiate something but when done you liked it.  This is different than depression; in depression one doesn’t like it even when when dragged to do it.

Brontide  – A sound like that of distant thunder.  Portends of doom or too many jalapeños perhaps.

Claufotis –  a fruit tart.  Thanks Paul B!

Concinnity – the skillful and harmonious arrangement of fitting together of the different parts of something.  I like it when a plan comes together.
Confreres – a fellow member of a something.  Example:  checking in to a resort in Palm Springs and mingling with your confreres at happy hour.

Farrago – a confused mixture.  Like the confreres at Inndulge at Palm Springs.

Grizzledemundy – a foolish sort who laughs at everything.  I meet a few these at Inndulge whenever I am there.  I suspect drugs.

Impecunious – having little or no money.   Can’t go to Palm Springs now.

Lynchnobite – someone who works at night and sleeps by day.

Skosh- a small amount of something.

Tetchy  – bad tempered and irritable

and to make a baker’s dozen:

Howff  – I am told it is an old word from Scotland that means a favorite place where you feel good,  such as your favorite pub.  Howffs should have lovely drinks and confreres and a few claufotis too.   In a howff everyone is well over four feet and none are too tetchy.

Verschlimmbesserung (n.) German: An intended improvement that actually ends up making something worse. 

Oh those zany Germans! They have the most marvelous words! Leaving well enough alone is like not pressing the already lit elevator button. One just can’t resist. I suppose it is human nature* to not leave things alone but to tinker and poke about hoping to improve on the original only to make a mess of things.  For your edification and entertainment, here’s a few examples of Spo-verschlimmbesserungen.

The Dry Martini.  This classy cocktail consists of gin, vermouth (no rubbish please) and a cocktail onion or olive. There. That’s it. It is simple, eloquent, and tasty – like my men – or was, until people figured it had to be ‘improved upon’.  Alas, one can’t readily go to a bar and ask for proper martini with the assumption the bartender knows what they are doing. Alas, alas, you are asked do you want gin, vodka, or some other spirit. Then there are an array of colorful add-ons that have no business being there. Dry Manhattans are not too close behind in my catalog of complaints about corrupted cocktails.

Opera preludes.  This music was made to evoke a mood state in the listener prior to the curtain going up. The audience is to sit and use their imaginations to set the tone in time for the first scene.  “Never stage the overture” was a sensible rule until modern producers figured the audience would be either bored sitting there without something to see or they needed ‘help’ to understand what the music is about. More often than not one sees a dreadful tableau or an assortment of shenanigans that merely distract from listening to the music. This is the last thing Verdi, Mozart, and that crowd were trying to accomplish in the prelude. Sometimes I just sit there and close my eyes. Sometimes I actually wake to see the opera.

Hotel clocks. The average hotel patron wants three things from a clock: tell the time; play some music; wake me up at a time of my choice. A few simple on/off knobs etc. did nicely.  Last time I was in a hotel room the clock had more options on it than seen in a 747 cockpit. I could not even figure out how to correct the time. I ended up just using my watch.

Coffee. I don’t often buy any but when I do I cringe at the order counter as I view the myriad of options. My eyes cross when I overhear regular patrons of SB ask for a triple, venti, soy, no foam latte or something of that ilk. Urs Truly when he orders is looked upon as an object of suspicion.  Imagine the following:

Yes sir can I help you?

Yes I want a cup of coffee

(Long pause as if I just asked for a dead rat) What sort of coffee?

Just a cup of coffee… er… small.

(Another pregnant pause as the barista contemplates if they should call the manager)  Do you want that tall? 

No, just a plain small cup please

Nothing in it?

(Sensing we are recreating Monty Python’s Cheese shop sketch) No, I am fine with a plain cup.

Which coffee do you want plain?

(Sensing madness coming on) Oh, the house blend.

Shall I leave room for cream or sugar?

(Biting my tongue not to be snarky about the sottish sugar)

No, that will not be necessary. 

Oh OK then.

Small wonder I drink tea.

I could give some other examples of simple things bloated or altered to the point of Kabelsalat but it just depresses me.

Spo-fans are invited to leave in the comment section their personal favorite Verschlimmbesserung – provided you don’t mention medical insurance forms. 

 

*Especially if you are a Virgo.

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I don’t have much to report, so here’s a new set of fabulous words Urs Truly is trying to get to land and stick to his lexicon flypaper.

 

Brummagem – (adj.) cheap, showy, or counterfeit.

Cadge  – (v.) to ask for get something to which one is not strictly entitled

Chicanery – (n.) The use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose.

Euphonious – (adj.) pleasing to the ear.

Harridan – (n.) a strict, bossy, or belligerent woman.

Noisome – (adj.) having an extremely offensive smell.

Prolix – (adj.)  Using or containing too many words; tediously lengthy.

Sapiosexual – (n.) a person who finds intelligence to be sexually attractive.

Sequacious – (adj.) lacking independence or originality of thought.

Tetchy – (adj.) bad-tempered and irritable.

 

BONUS ADD ON <<<

A Gowpen is the cup formed by putting your hands together to make a bowl.  A Yepsen is the amount you can hold in your Gowpen.

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Spo-fans know I am crackers for linguistics, so you can imagine my delight when I woke this morning to the cacophony on the internet, which was all in a swivet about Hair Furor’s  tweet  word “covfefe”.  I found it marvelous. I am glad to see people still care about language and words enough to go ballistic over neologisms and have fun with them as well.  In most cases the history of a word’s evolution is slow and without clear origins.  Covfefe clearly has a precise progenitor. Now starts the fun of watching the nonsense word solidify into one or two precise definitions. I hope my heart-throb ersatz boyfriend Paul Anthony Jones at Haggard Hawks is prophetic when he tweeted:

COVFEFE is an 18th century dialect word meaning ‘to not know what you are doing”.  

I confess I am a bit jealous of HF’s word’s success, for I have made up many words but none have gotten into the public’s general use. One of the fascinating and lovely attributes of English is it is continually bringing in new words, whether borrowed from other languages or created out of bits like Frankenstein’s monster.  This makes English a vibrant and growing language.*

So – if I can’t make them up, I advocate the return of marvelous words that have fallen out of favor.

Here’s some lovelies. Try to tell as many people as you can in town.

 

Blivit – something for which one cannot find a word; something difficult to name.

Boketto – the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking.

Brummagem – cheap, showy, or counterfeit.

Esurient – hungry or greedy.

Expergefactor – something that wakes you up.

Grubbling – the act of searching for small objects in ones pocket or desk drawer. It’s a bit like groping but less organized and specific.

Kenopsia – the eerie atmosphere of a place once bustling with life and activity that is now quiet.

Nerdle – a sudden surprising squeeze of a limb by another which makes the squeezed one jump and startle.

Perfervid – intense and impassioned.

Quisquillious – having the nature of rubbish.

 

Try using some in an email today!

*Compare that to French, where the there is an actual academy to try to keep that language ‘pure’. This feckless endeavor is not even close to being done. I hear tell thems in charge are only up to the letter ‘P” in the book on proper French words. When the officious rule book is concluded it will be both outdated and ignored.

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Note: I wrote a humdinger of a blog post – only to forget it at work.  The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections is furious. They disallowed me to ‘wait until tomorrow’; I have to ‘put out’ before midnight or face a penalty so terrible they dare not tell me the details but only hinted I won’t be able to count to ten any more. Oy. In a pinch, there is always “Urspo’s wicked words”.  Please give an enthusiastic shout out in the comment section, lest I lose digits.

Bibulous – excessively fond of drinking alcohol.

Blivit – something for which one cannot find a word; something difficult to name.

Dolce far niente – a pleasing inactivity.

Drotchel – a slovenly untidy woman.

Eructate – to produce a rawther loud belch or burp.

Ferrule – a short metal sleeve or ring at the base or handle of a pole for reinforcing the tool.  (really)

Imprecation – a curse; malediction

Kenning – a poetic phrase used in lieu of the usual name for a person or thing.  Example: “wave traveler” for “boat”.  or ‘snow puddings’ for ice cream. Jolly good fun!

Naufragous – something relating to or causing a shipwreck; something that creates a disaster.   A very good word to keep handy.

Penetralia – the innermost parts or recesses of a place or thing; the private of places.

Phub – to ignore a person via cellphone use.

Shinrin-yoku – ‘forest bathing’; a meditative and medicinal walk in nature.

Tapleyism – undying optimism even in dire circumstances.  These types need smacking.

 

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I haven’t recently written a post on fancy fustian words. This borders on negligence, for I am forever collecting grandiloquent and archaic words guaranteed to bore people to death at parties (of which I am not invited) or annoy phone solicitors. The Board of Directors Here at Spo-Reflections absolutely hates these entries, as they draw no traffic. Well screw’em. I love words!  Pleonasm is my middle name.

Here are a few of my recent finds, apropos for the holidays, winter months, and the pending political regime. Try using some in an email today.

Blivit – something for which one cannot find a word; something difficult to name.

Chicanery – the use of trickery to achieve a political, financial, or legal purpose.

Cumbly – benumbed with cold

Gambrinous – intoxicated by beer.

Gelid – f*cking cold, geezus could it get any worse.

Mardy – a sulky slightly aggressive moody teenager, usually female.

Mulligrubs – ill temper; colic; grumpiness.

Naufragous – something relating to or causing a shipwreck; something that creates a disaster.

Nescience – lack of knowledge or awareness.

Nudnik – a persistently dull, boring pest.

Potation – a drink or draft, especially of an alcoholic beverage.

Quisquillious – having the nature of rubbish (a splendid word indeed!)

Skiver – someone who skips or weasels out of a responsibility.

Viridity – greenness

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