Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Word of the Day: Is It a 'Ghoti' or Is It a 'Fish'?

ghoti [fish](noun)

Alternate spelling of "fish"

"'What's this on the menu?’ Jordan asked. 'It says Ghoti.' 'I think they mean fish,' Sheila replied. 'The chef is a bit pretentious.'" (TWITO, page 60)

"Ghoti" can be pronounced like "fish":

gh, pronounced like "f" as in tough;
o, pronounced like "i" as in women; and
ti, pronounced like "sh" as in nation

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Thunderation!

Be aware that in Japanese, "aware" means "the bittersweetness of a brief, fading moment of transcendent beauty".

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Thunderation! Better to be a fopdoodle than a mumblecrust, right? All of those are historical curse words.

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The paperback edition of my book isn't a dusty, moldering (seeming) "incunabulum" (TWITO, page 72) like the ones in this picture. And the Kindle and audiobook editions definitely are not: The Word I'm Thinking Of

(Technically, an "incunabulum" is a book printed before the 16th century.)

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Climate Isn't Just About the Weather

Climate isn't just about the weather. We have a mental and emotional climate too, and the atmosphere changes. Now we seem, at times, to live in an alternate universe, a cracked mirror world (yeah, "through the lookinglass") where thinkable thoughts include "off with her [his] head", Isis abdicates as an Egyptian goddess, and a killcow's crazy neologisms ("covfefe"?) presage a rising, inchoate tempest. Have you read the news today? Oh, boy.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Whodunit?

Do you prefer a "whodunit", a "howdunit", or a "howdhecatchem"? Those are all words associated with mystery stories. So is "gumshoe", another word for a detective. I've always wanted to write a detective story about a "gumshoe" whose favorite album is Rubber Soul.

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So the word "artichoke" comes from the Arabic "al-khurshoof"? Gesundheit, I say!

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Spy vs. phylactologist? A "phylactologist" is another word for a spy. (Coined by novelist Kingsley Amis in his 1966 book The Anti-Death League.)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: All You Need Is "Felechazo"?

Go here, there, and everywhere, thanks to "holoportation". That's virtual teleporting via 3-D videocams.

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"Parlous" means full of risk or danger -- like in a cliffhanger.

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All you need is..."felechazo"? It refers to being struck by Cupid's arrow -- in Spanish.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Silly "Wabbit"?

Why toddle when you can "shoggle" or "warple"? Both are old-fashioned words for precarious ambling.

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Is your dossier full of "kompromat"? That's a Russian word for information gathered for the purpose of blackmailing someone. Could be a useful word someday soon.

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Is your rabbit "wabbit"? It means exhausted or sickly.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Talking to Ed about Trumpcare



Mr. Ed: Whoa, Wilburrr. You have a pre-existing condition?

Wilbur: Yes, I do.

Mr. Ed: I'm a bit surprised. What is it, Wilburrr?

Wilbur: Don't YOU know?

Mr. Ed: Neigh!

Wilbur: I'm talking to you aren't I? It's a mental health condition.

Mr. Ed: Can't you see a doctor about that, Wilburrrr? So you can be more...stable?

Wilbur: Not with Trumpcare. Not if the state gets a waiver to eliminate mental health coverage. I would have to pony up for it myself. I don't want to be saddled with that!

Mr. Ed: What a nightmare. But I'll be your shrink, Wilburrrr.

Wilbur:
I guess you'll have to be, Ed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts: Firenado!

Here's wishing you a cwtch. Don't you just love those Welsh words that have no vowels? (It means a hug.)

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No, "sharknado" is not an actual weather word. Aren't you glad? But firenado is. That's a vortex that rises from a fire, carrying smoke and flame.



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If you don't want to call it a lie, you can at least describe it as twistical (meaning inclined to twist the truth).

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Let's use more interjections, dagnabbit!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

Are you a "pochemuchka" (someone who asks too many questions)? Forget I asked!

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You may think my blog is "floccinaucinihilipilification" (meaning worthless -- TWITO, page 55), but I don't.

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Lord Cardigan led the Charge of the Light Brigade, but now he's known for a cozy sweater.

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"Misodoctakleidist" (TWITO, page 89) means someone who hates practicing the piano. "Like me," I would have said at age 8.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Connecting the Dots: Trumpisms

Donald Trump keeps saying "I will tell you this" before he tells us something. I take it as an admonition to engage my skepticism. But maybe I should preface my own portentous utterances with a similar throat-clearing mini prologue, in case I say something stupid -- a fair warning. Something like "Let me say this about that" (another unpopular president's favorite preamble) or just "now hear this!"

Monday, April 03, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

"Gumsuck me goodbye, honey!" Gumsuck is a 19th-century slang term for "kiss". Ewww....

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To thine own ipseity be true. Ipseity is a word for "selfhood" or the ability to be oneself.

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Any other epeolatrists out there? Epeolatry is the worship of words.

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One of my favorite words is fulgent (meaning "shining brightly"). "Unable to sleep, he wandered the hills that night, under the fulgent moon." (TWITO, page 58)



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Are you sesquipedalian? Then you like to use long words.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

Are you "sesquipedalian"? If so, you like to use long words.

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Is your bunny a "whorson glassegazing superfinicall rogue"? If so, you're rabbit is vain.

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"Face-palm" about all the "train wrecks" in the news these days. And that Merriam-Webster has now added those words to its dictionary.

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You're probably "chuffed" if you already know a lot of British phrases. Proud, that is.

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Do you believe in "flechazo" at first sight? That's when you've been pricked by Cupid's (Spanish) arrow.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

Haven't you always wanted to find a word that means "resembling an ostrich"? It's "ratite".

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Do you have a "perfervid" imagination? Good, if you put it to good use. That means it's intense.

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How about "dacoit" (TWITO, page 39)? You may want to steal that one. It refers to a bandit.

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Quick, Scrabble fans, what's a five-letter word for "a type of Inuit parka"? Atigi!

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If you're here, I assume you don't have "logophobia" (fear of words).

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

"Otherkin" (adjective) was recently added to Oxford Dictionaries. It denotes people who identify as non-human. Hmm. Are you glad we finally have a word for that?

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There are 18 ways to say "awesome" according to this site:

18 ways

But they forgot "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"!

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A "gobemouche" (TWITO, page 61) is a credulous person. It literally means "someone who swallows flies". (Think about it with your mouth open.)

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So Merriam and Webster can't agree on the pronunciation of "GIF". I'd say it's a hard G, like in....well, Gates.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Two FREE Kindle e-Books

Fire up your e-readers! My two Kindle editions on Amazon are FREE from February 19th through February 23rd. A funny dictionary and a scary story -- what a combination! Both have 4.5-star ratings (out of 5) on Amazon.

The Word I'm Thinking Of
The Iron Box

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

You just did not want to make Shakespeare angry. He had plenty of poetic ways to insult someone. Call someone a "dizzy-eyed dewberry" today. I dare you!

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"Just because you're pronoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to help you." ("Pronoid" means the opposite of "paranoid".)

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Haven't you always wanted a word for "a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery"? It's "litost".

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Forsooth, you may think this list a fandangle, but I find it goodly:

archaic words

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

A great German word is "Backpfeifengesicht", meaning "a face you badly want to punch".

Hooray for "yarooh" and other backwards words! According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "yarooh" is "a humorous stylized representation of a cry of pain."

Don't you just love some good "semordnilap"? (Read it backwards!)

Yes, we need a word that means "To move hot food around in your mouth". It's "pelinti", a Ghanian word.

TWITO, page 60: "Only Desmond’s gelastic comments made the tedious seminar bearable." "Gelastic" means "pertaining to laughter".


YYUR; YYUB. ICUR YY4me. Or are you?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wandering Word Thoughts

Do you know anyone who "worships" Elvis Presley or Marilyn Monroe? That's "necrolatry" -- worship of the dead.

I suggest bringing back the old-fashioned word "trumpery". (See below.)

Were you feeling some "awumbuk" after the holiday's? That's the feeling of emptiness after your guests leave. (Okay, maybe you weren't feeling that.)

"'Very' is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen." --Mark Twain. Very true! Ooops.

I imagine you can't ever unsee a "grandissimus". That's the penis of a whale.



Monday, January 02, 2017

Word of the Day: boggler

What's the word I'm thinking of? Today, it's....

boggler (noun)

Someone who hesitates because of fear or doubt

"You have been a boggler ever:
But when we in our viciousness grow hard—
O misery on't !—the wise gods seel our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make us
Adore our errors; laugh at's, while we strut
To our confusion."
--William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, scene 13

To be or not to be? Isn't that the question, Will?