Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fubsy, intaxication and tall bikes

I learnt a clutch of new words yesterday in an article in The Age about a collection of words that are verging on extinction due to lack of use. The people in charge of Collins Dictionary have placed them on a list of words that could be cut from the next edition unless they can find evidence of them being bandied about (outside articles about their endangerment).

My favourite is fubsy, which means short and stout ("I'm a little teapot fubsy....."?), and I like niddering (cowardly) and exuviate (to shed) and abstergent (cleansing or scouring).

And made up words!

Regular reader Victoria thoughtfully sent me a link to the latest contributions to the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational, which ask readers to take a real word, and alter it slightly to create a new word.

Here is my selection of the winners -

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone: The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

5. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

7. Glibido: All talk and no action.

8. Arachnoleptic fit: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

9. Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

10. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

(Hmmm...wondering if I should start a blog devoted to words...)

EDIT: Reader Julian, with his "Urban Legends Debunker" hat on, informs me that there is no such thing as the Mensa Invitational. The above list of words is from a weekly competition in Washington Post about 10 years ago called Style Invitational. No matter - it's new to me and they are still great words.


I am going a little silly at http://www.listography.com/frisky. It's kinda pointless, but I like it. I like looking at other people's lists too.

Silly bike update

First pennyfarthings and unicycles, now tall bikes. Walking home beside the river tonight a man zipped past me on a bike that must have been more than two metres tall. Two metres! The wheels were standard size, but the seat was atop a tall frame way above. People are odd, aren't they? And luckily the bridges along the river aren't low (although I'm sure I would laugh my head off if he smacked into one a la Wile E Coyote).


The Infamous Mrs. BlueBalls said...

Here's link on words you may find fun. It has some of the collective nouns I told you about


julian309 said...

Urban legend or no, they're still funny. :)

Here's a link to a site with those 10, plus another 24 (some of them are good!). :)


Small Footprints said...

Thanks for sharing this list ... I giggled all the way through them!

Take Care!

Small Footprints

Frisky Librarian (formerly known as GleeGirl) said...

Thank you Mrs Blueballs! *Claps hands with glee* I have had a quick look at the site and I love it. Will be back soon to explore properly.

Hi Julian. Thanks. Man, I'm going to be online all night! (er...for even longer than usual.)

Hello small footprints. Glad to be the bringer of giggles!

Marelisa said...

Oh, this was hilarious! I love bozone and foreploy.

The Infamous Mrs. BlueBalls said...

Let me know what you think of that site after you've had time to really look at it.

I've found it to be very entertaining.

Earl Riser said...

Hi Jayne thanks for the interesting word plays, I enjoy them too.
And also to TIMBB, for coming up with a website that I will check later, perhaps the weekend.

Abbeysmum said...

Thursday night at 8.30, there was a programme on ABC called "Adam Hills Live: JOYMONGER & Characterful.
what a coincidence ,another monger.

Frisky Librarian (formerly known as GleeGirl) said...

Hi Marelisa. There are some very witty and clever people around, hey?

Hello again Mrs BB. I surely will let you know what I think of the site after I explore it more. It's a cold wet weekend here so I imagine it will keep me very entertained.

Hi Earl. glad you enjoyed the words!

Hello Abbeysmum. Yes! I saw that! And it made me think, "Gee, glad I didn't call my blog Gleemonger after all because I would have looked like a copy cat"! I do now recall the name of Adam Hills' show but it had slipped into the recesses of my memory. Quite a coincidence that it popped up just after I thought of the name Gleemonger.

Did you watch the show? I laughed but I also very nearly stood up and hollered "That's what I'm talkin' bout!" at various stages. If you didn't watch it, his routine and this blog have quite a bit in common - the celebration of life's little joys (like a carrot that looks like the lower half of a person) and being able to look on the lighter side when life is a bit trying (like Egyptians who get out and dance on the roofs of their cars while stuck in traffic jams for hours).

I even sent an email to Adam Hills on myspace telling him how it resonated with me (and I am not given to messaging famous people on myspace)!

I love that he is funny as well as positive and uplifting. I think I might be a little bit on love with him but I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Dang!

Tilly said...

I actually mis-heard a lyric recently that i thought was a great made up word.
INTERUSTRATING - a combination of interesting and frustrating!
...turns out the line is actually 'i tend to rush straight in'...i still sing the wrong line because i like it better!

Frisky Librarian (formerly known as GleeGirl) said...

Hello Tilly. That's a great made up word even if it's from a "Mondegreen"*. I love combo-words. I think you should use it in conversation when appropriate. It's not like other made up made up combo words don't enter the language.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondegreen