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This post isn’t about big words. It’s just words I really, really like – maybe because of the way they look or sound or stuff they make me think of. So here they are – read them and make a solemn vow to use them at least one time. Trust me. It’ll be fun.
First of all, I like this word because it looks to me like a Japanese word. Something very Asian about it – the ‘mori’ and the ‘bund’ like Shanghai Bund. Of course, the actual meaning is approaching death, which is rather funny. “Ooh, are we feeling moribund today?”
Schoolmarmish means someone who has the matronly qualities of teacher in a kampong. I’m seeing unkempt hair, poorly applied makeup, horribly unfashionable apparel and heels never exceeding half an inch. Someone who is strict and is a stickler for rules. ‘Marm’ is similar in sound to ‘mom’ though not in a warm, nice maternal way; but in a more unflattering way.
Something about the word pompous which sounds so inflated, full of self-importance. Look at this: pomp and pageantry. The word even looks pretty on a page – maybe it’s the circular shape of the letters P and O and another O and the sleek curve of the U. I think a little dose of pomposity is endearing and quite funny – maybe that’s why I liked Frasier so much back when it was on TV.
We all know the neighbourhood fishmonger but I like how ‘monger’ can be attached almost like a suffix to any other thing you’re peddling – eg. fearmongering, pornmongering, etc. Just picture a bunch of smarmy, middle-aged men peddling little jars labeled with scare tactics like ‘death’, ‘regret’ or ‘pain’ in the pasar.
First of all, I love the way this word looks. So unusual. Almost foreign. I also love the way it’s pronounced: ohn-wee. Isn’t that exotic? It means oppressive boredom, like when you’re stuck listening to some droning ignoranus and you’re slipping into a sea of ennui, you know, before you proceed into a state of moribund. *snore*
I heard this years ago on Monty Python’s Flying Circus when this guy went to John Cleese asking to buy an argument. They get into a fight and John Cleese yells, “Don’t give me that, you snotty faced heap of parrot droppings! … Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, toffy-nosed, malodorous pervert!!!” – hahahahaaa!! That was so damn funny I still remember it today and still love the word vacuous (stupid) along with snotty (conceited), gob (a small lump) and malodorous (stinky).
Sounds to me like a vacuum cleaner brand (I grew up with Electrolux, what can I say?). Flummox means confused, perplexed. Say flummoxed and I imagine a person with eyeballs as wide as saucers, practically bulging out of his sockets; mouth rounded into a perfect ‘O’, eyebrows twisted into knots. Flummox is a funny-sounding, funny-looking word.
This is someone we’d call ‘damn yong sui’ – someone with a face so sleazy, so oily (figuratively, of course) and with so much insincerity oozing out of every pore that you just want to bitch-slap the smarm out of them. Beadle, the evil Judge Turpin’s idiot sidekick in Sweeney Todd comes to mind. Timothy Spall played him so well and was so horribly repulsive that I squirmed in my seat the whole time.
I remember seeing this word in an article in Time magazine many years ago, “… in a terminal funk of hebetude and sloth …” and fell in love with it. It’s an odd-looking little word. While it means mental lethargy or dullness, the word itself doesn’t really reflect it. It’s also cool that until today, ‘hebetude’ is still underlined in Word as a misspelled word. Haha.
You know that scene in the Exorcist when the girl pukes? (Blech) That’s what I imagine spiel to be. While the actual definition is to say something at great length to persuade (I say con!) someone into doing something, to me, there’s just something very negative about spiel. Even the pronunciation of the word … it isn’t a word you say, it’s a word you spit out. Talk about verbal diarrhea.
There’s something so wonderfully maniacal about this word. It sounds so pompous (yay!) and evil. The world is full of megalomaniacs – even those with a little authority can suffer from megalomania. What was really funny was this episode of The Office when resident sycophant Dwight becomes drunk with power when he gets to decide which of his colleagues would have to work over the weekend. “This is so sad. This is the smallest amount of power I’ve ever seen go to someone’s head,” Jim says. That was so funny.
Slugabed speaks for itself: a late sleeper. This is my nickname for my boyfriend who’s a loyal member of a species that can slug around in bed until the ungodly hour of 2pm. Of course, he also goes to bed at the ungodly hour of 6am on a regular basis. I will never understand the concept, not even if I live to be a hundred.
Someone with a sour face. When I see this word, I picture an overweight woman, scornful expression etched on her puffy features, lips so thin that they resemble bent razor blades, patches of powdery dough all over her face. In one hand is a rolling pin while the other’s perched on her ample hip. She’s standing in an almost combative pose. Yup. That’s what I see when I see ‘dour’.
I loved the phrase ‘unctuous claptrap’ so much that I wrote it down in my dictionary. Claptrap is almost onomatopoeic (a word that sounds like the sound made by the thing it’s referring to – come again?). Claptrap means empty language – yammer yammer yammer, blah blah blah, etc. Come to think of it, maybe claptrap should be craptrap. Hey, I just invented a neologism! Craptrap: empty language that’s also full of sh*t.
I love troglodyte. It means a Neanderthal that lives in a hole. Hahaha … that pretty much describes men in general, doesn’t it? Offense intended. But I like this word because it looks so troll-like. I think Hunchback of Notre-Dame. I think shriveled, skeletal gargoyles. I think Smeagol. I think Benjamin Button before he turned into Brad Pitt.