Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I love words. I love reading them, writing them and playing around with them. Most of all I love unusual words. Especially unusual words that mean exactly what they sound like they should mean. If you see what I mean.

I found one such word the other day - 'spatterdash'. I'd never heard of it, yet I wear a pair of spatterdashes every time I go walking in the muddy hills nearby. What are they? They are those things that weird walkers like me wear between their walking boots and their knee joints - like upside-down shorts but without the crotch - obviously, else walkers everywhere would be lying face-down in the mud. According to the dictionary they are 'cloth or other legging to protect stocking etc from mud etc.' In practical terms they are pieces of material that you tie or zip over the top of the lower half of your trousers, which prevents mud splashing up your calves, which, in turn, saves you having to wash your trousers every time you go walking. Which, to my mind at least, is exactly what the word 'spatterdash' conjures up - the mud spatters but is dashed - gorgeous. (Possibly not what the originator of such a word had in mind, but it works for me.)

So, what's your favourite, unusual word, and why?



Blogger India said...

I like phlange. It sounds nice.

Go on-- say it.


10:11 pm  
Blogger Sue aka MsCreativity :-) said...

Here's a couple my family use (you won't find them in the dictionary though):
Fatigoo'd = fatigued etc. (I warn my kids when I'm feeling particularly fatigoo'd)

Confuddled = confused/muddled - a state that I'm in more often than not ;-).

If I don't speak to you again before Christmas, have a wonderful one and a fab 2007!

Sue :-)

PS I almost got a real word with Blogger's verification "decideq" - Wow!!

3:35 pm  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

Best word ever is Winnebago. I could just say it all day long.

Hope you scribes all have a wicked Christmas!!!!!!

7:11 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

How about my favourite British words that are still obscure here: such as "jolly" used as a noun (many of which I intend to enjoy this holiday season), and "paddy", most commonly used to describe a child in the midst of a temper tantrum (but not exclusive to children of course).

P.S. My blogger verification word is "smenita" ... that might be a word.

8:50 am  
Anonymous Sharon J said...

Like Sue, our family have always said "confuddled".

I rather like 'goolies' and 'bonkers'.


x x x

5:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a terribly difficult question to answer, Annie. I don't know if I have a favourite - I like types of words...for example, I like words that can be more than one thing...like "Funghi." I like the way it looks, the way it reminds me of bonsai trees, and I ESPECIALLY like it in the following example: Whoops, let me post the following disclaimer first: WARNING": THOSE WITH SENSITIVE CONSTITUTIONS AND WOBBLY STOMACHS BE WARNED. THE FOLLOWING IS A TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE PUN - MY FAVOURITE JOKE, EVER - BUT TERRIBLE. Okay, now: two mushrooms are sitting around and talking about the first mushroom's breakup with his girlfriend. And the first mushroom says to the second (wait for it): "I just don't understand why she left -I mean, I'm a funghi (fun guy)." You know what's sadder than this joke? The fact that I'm laughing as I write it.

Oooohhh, "vex." I like that word. Remember Gladiator, and Joaquin (sure I've spelt that wrong) storming around the rooms and saying in that understated, monotone voice, "I'm vexed. I'm very vexed," and it just creeps you out because you know he's totally psychotic and his normal, quiet voice belies some true ugliness under the surface? He made me love that word...I'd forgotten about it until your post. Thanks Annie! I'm going to see if I can use that three times today...like the lady at the Starbucks drive-through, who got her coffee and pulled ahead, but not enough that we could get to the window. So the entire line up had to wait until she sorted through her purse, adjusted her coat, fixed her hair and squiggled around in her seat before we could get our desperately needed caffeine fixes. She vexed me. Not greatly, but she definitely vexed me. Ha! All done, and only need to use "vex" once more!

Happy Holidays, everyone. Here's wishing you short line-ups and cheerful salespeople!

5:55 pm  

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