Monday, February 2, 2009


photo of Chamber's Dictionary

Apparently, "Arsefingle" means to evade trouble with great regularity, even in the face of overwhelming odds and evidence of your corruption. Hmmm...sounds a bit like Lermontov, lol.
Also, I got a kick out of "shatner".

My post isn't about arsefingle. Actually, I was over at Cin's and she's written about her son's favourite word, and there are certain ones I really like saying because of the way they roll off your tongue. Here's a few:

discombobulated :: circuitous :: superfluous:: gobsmacked :: polydachtyl

What are yours?


  1. I too like discombobulated. But my fave would be 'mellifluous' because it sort of sounds like what it describes

  2. meningococcal

    Lermontov: it's called onomatopoeia when the word sounds like the thing it's describing

  3. Gary Larson likes to say "cow." If you take your time to say it it can be an intrinsically funny word: "cowwwwww."

    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovalconoconiosis is an example of a word (and medical condition) that is not funny.

    Chris commented that you don't hear the word "exuberant" every day, when I used it to describe my loud kids. I also enjoyed appropriately using "fallacious" in casual conversation.

    There's a word "nimas" in Hebrew that doesn't translate. I've seen it translated as "infuriating" but it means something more like "tiring." It elegantly describes something that you have experienced so much of, that you are sick to death of it.

  4. Hmm, I rather like discombobulated. Also at 46 characters, Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovalconoconiosis is the longest word in the dictionary. Try saying it though... I'm not certain I've ever heard anyone say it.

    My dad uses cognizant a lot and whenever he does, it sounds, interesting.

  5. Circuitous is definitely a word I enjoy incorporating into my quotidian lexicon. I also like the word lexicon. Others I enjoy are xanthic, scintillating, and polysyllabic.
    Add to that chiaroscuro.

  6. Arsefingle
    sounds like my lil bro. lol

  7. Sorry Kate, but that ‘Chambers New Dictionary’ page is a spoof from the British satirical blog The Spine – there ain’t no word ‘arsefingle’ (or at least not in Chambers Dictionary – a copy of which is on my desk all the time).

    Chambers does have some nicely quirky definitions though, the most-often quoted one being ‘éclair n. a cake, long in shape but short in duration, with cream filling and chocolate or other icing.’

    Some of my favourites:


  8. Simon - I said to Bill last night - "wonder if this is a real thing?" and he thought I'd find out soon enough, LOL.
    I really like quirky definitions, too.

    EPN - that's a huge word!

    Lou - I remember onomatopoeia from school!

    Tuesday - polysyllabic is a melodic word.

    Alianna - I tried pronouncing it!

    Kamai - my bro too, lol

    Noc - I'll have to remember "mimas". I feel that way about prospecting, lol.

  9. I like to use the word behoove.

    Smegma is a semi-naughty word that is fun to say........

  10. yacky - OMG!!! My late husband, my best friend and myself were on a road trip and listening to Sue Johanson on the radio. She was talking about Smegma and we LOAO! Okay, not Dale, but Crystal and I thought it was a hilarious word, lol.
    Good times.

  11. I say discombobulated all the time, and I get the wierdest looks...
    And Sue J looks JUST like my grandma! They could seriously be separated at birth. It cracks me up, watching her show... my grandma's NOT supposed to talk like that! Especially when she brings out the toys and rates them!

  12. I have a bunch of word verification "words" saved up, and I hope to put meanings with them at some point.

  13. Alianna, I learned to say it in elementary school because I had an odd teacher. I say it: New-MAH-no-ULT-rah-mike-row-skopp-ick-sih-lick-oval-caw-no-caw-nee-oh-sis. It's not a useful thing to know how to say.

    Kate, I can hardly believe you thought that was real. It looked obviously satiric. Did you find it online?

    I thought of a good word similar to "nimas" today: "exasperating." It's not exact, but it's close. I always get stuck on that word when I try to translate a particular love song from Hebrew.

    It bugs me how people have no idea what "quixotic" means. I'm sure none of the people who misuse it have ever read Don Quixote. They tend to not understand "precocious" either. In this song it might be used correctly, but then the singer is British and so presumably speaks English:
    "You're quite precocious."
    "I know which buttons should be pressed."
    "Let's go out driving."
    "I'll wait till you've passed your test."

    That "Airborne" placebo claims to be "effervescent."

    Isn't it cruel that "lisp" has an "s" in it? And how about how hard "dyslexia" is to spell? "Monosyllabic" has five syllables too, same as "polysyllabic."

    "Chiasmus" is a word I hardly ever get to use.

    Ever since seeing "Avenue Q" I find myself using "schadenfreude" often, even with my seven-year-olds and nine-year-olds.

    So, the other day my girlfriend said I was a paedophile! I said, "That's a pretty big word for a twelve-year-old!"

  14. Noc - the whole thing was done in minutes, without dong any research at all. Sort of like when I found The Onion, lol. Most of the time when I do stuff like this, I'm multi-tasking and learn as I go along. Besides, I really liked the word "arsefingle"