Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For All You Wordies Out There

I was reading my neighbor's copy of Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. Now, there is an author with a real, umm, different perspective. Such imagination. And such interesting word choices: Guttersnipes! Dandyprats! Piffling squimp!

I only found a definition for one of those: a guttersnipe is a street urchin, more or less. I'm pretty sure the other two are also some kind of insult, and all three are immensely fun (and funny) to say out loud. The kiddos and I had a grand time shouting them out all around the house.

Well. That got me wondering what other wonderful, funny-sounding words are out there, so of course I went web surfing, and found a few more. Some are funny, some are insulting (and therefore funny), some are interesting, and some are cute. But most importantly, they are all real words:

Vomitory - Nope. It's not what you're thinking. It's a passageway leading to seats in a theater or stadium. (Think Roman structures.)

Snollygoster - a corrupt politician; especially shrewd or calculating (This one would have been good to know in the days leading up to the election.)

Dogsturds - candied sweetmeats (I wonder if I can send some of those in for school snacks...)

Gonzoogler - an idle spectator; rubbernecker (To define one funny word with another.)

Flapdoodle - nonsense; twaddle (Now, twaddle...that's a great one in and of itself, too.)

Testudineous - to be slow as a tortoise (Explain away your late arrival with elegance: "I do apologize. The traffic was absolutely testudineous!")

Clinchpooper - a complete slob (I can't wait to use this one! "You are such a clinchpoooper!")

Wisterpooper - a slap upside the head (OK, I just like to say this one...)

Slubberdegullion - a filthy, slobbering person (Lovely Girl can't wait for a chance to use this one on the boys at school - but I told her, "You didn't hear it from me...")

Dumbledore - a type of bee (There you go - a bit of trivia for all the Harry-Potter-o-philes out there.)

Pusillanimous - cowardly (If you say this one importantly enough, they'll puff up with pride: "There you are, my pusillanimous friend...")

Sitooterie - summerhouse or gazebo; an out-of-the-way place to sit at a dance (You might not want to suggest to your date that you retire to the sitooterie, real word or not. Can you say, end-of-date?)

Bucculent - wide-mouthed. (Say it with a smile, and they'll take it as a compliment: "Ah, well-said, my bucculent friend." )

Draftsack - bag of garbage (Oh, this one could be so much fun...)

So many words, so little time. And so, I'll save the others for later. In the meantime, listed below are my sources. Check them out for many, many more funny-sounding words. 

Go ahead. Improve your vocabulary. Make people wonder what the heck you're talking about. Then smile smugly, tell them to "Go look it up," ...and run. (That way, if you said something insulting, by the time they figure it out, you can be long gone...)


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