Sunday, 4 March 2012

Random thoughts 4: Words, words, words

My Random Thoughts challenge for this week is all about words. Which I'm really excited about because I love words. As an aside, I'm also really excited to have a couple of friends who seem to also love words about as much as I do. The awesome Just Frances, for whom I include within this blog her favourite word - antidisestablishmentarianism, and Graham, who has been very keen to point out my own particular turns of phrase over the past few months and I suspect would find the same humour as me from the lead photo for today's blog post!

But returning to the challenge, this week my instruction was to take 10 words at random out of the dictionary and decide for myself what they should mean. See what I mean? Great fun!

So here goes:-

Drawl - either, a laid back artistic technique in the abstract genre, used to create baffling and occasionally childlike paintings. Not cubist, but more similar to the surreal style favoured by Dali and his like; or, a small compartment or hidey-hole for putting bizarre and seemingly pointless objects that may one day become useful - as in, "I'll just put this thingmie in the drawl in case we need it in future"

Freight - a scary event experienced by a good Morningside lady and how she felt afterwards. "He jumped out in front of me, waved it around and shouted obscenities. I got quite a freight you know, Elsie!"

Marcella - sounds like it should be a fruit, perhaps a type of sweet cherry, but is in fact a type of cotton material. I think I prefer my definition...

Pantaloon - the actor who plays the fool in the annual village pantomime. Often people think he's really talented but then quickly realise he's just typecast. Alternatively, it has been extended to refer to the co-worker you desperately try (and fail) to avoid in the corridor before he pins you down to ask the most idiotic questions about that project you're working on, showing all the while an unhealthy interest in the subject.

Scrouge - I was surprised to find that this was a real word as well as the name for the famous miser from Dickens' Christmas Carol. I was even more surprised to find that its meaning fitted perfectly with the word - a form of definitional onomatopoeia!

Telophase - a great invention that allows you to instantly disintegrate that annoying cold caller who has just interrupted your favourite TV programme with their telephone call offering the very latest insurance/financial service/double glazing/solar panel. "Press 1 to hear your messages. Press 2 to delete messages. Press 3 to delete caller"

Univocal - like a unicycle but louder

Legacy - the obscure language for legal documents used by lawyers to confuse and mystify their clients, and in the process, successfully pad their bills.

Comfort - a stronghold and defensive building designed to protect sheep. (It's my meaning, you don't like it, make up your own!!)

Irreprehensible - politicians, journalists and economists normally. Not because they're paeans of virtue, but because they really do try to convince us that they are beyond blame...

And before I go, just to share with you another few things this challenge put me in mind of ...

a) great dialect words - crabbit, glaikit, hattered, biddy
b) words that can be said in any number of ways - leg-end, pig-eon to name but two
c) words that are just funny in themselves, or at least to me - potato (but don't ask me why!), and
d) made up languages - tnew ot serutcip, as Molesworth would say...

So, that's my 10 words - and more. It's been great fun and I really would encourage my reader(s) to try it for themselves - either with their own set of 10 words or with any of mine above. I'd love to know if I've got the meanings wrong...!

1 comment:

Carole said...

Nice blog. As a lover of words you might be interested in the word play involved in cryptic crosswords. I am doing a series of posts on solving cryptic clues. This was the first one I did. Hope you enjoy.