Friday, October 5, 2012
Treats in the Treasure Chest
I have always been a person who enjoys words for all kinds of reasons - words that rhyme, words that sound silly, words that I have never encountered, or words that would KILL in Scrabble. (Who else would make their dermatologist spell the word 'xiphoid' during an exam?) I won't pretend that any of you dear readers will become quite as excited by my sharing some of these little gems; just kind of wanted to make sure that you all have treasure chests that you too can take out when you need them the most!
Some of the the animal collectives I have used, others I just love knowing: the more common murder of crows, gaggle of geese, yoke of oxen, litter of pigs, school of fish, gam of whales, and pride of lions are nice, but how fabulous are these: A troubling of goldfish? a scurry of squirrels? a crash of rhinoceroses? a quiver of cobras? a romp of otters? a tower of giraffes? a kaleidoscope of butterflies?
Robert Beard (aka Dr. Goodword), a retired linguistics professor at Bucknell University, compiled the 100 funniest words list since in his opinion the words sounded funny, because they meant something funny, or some combination of the two. He also likes those words that are one letter away from something naughty, like formication (the sense of ants crawling on your face) or fard (facepaint or makeup). Here are a few of my favorites:
Collywobbles: butterflies in the stomach
Gazump: to buy something already promised to someone else
Kerfuffle: nonsense or balderdash
Mumpsimus: an outdated and unreasonable position on an issue
Pettifogger: someone who tries to befuddle others with his speech
Slangwhanger: a loud abusive speaker or obnoxious writer
Vomitory: an exit or outlet
Wabbit: exhausted, tired or worn out
You just can't read these without smiling. Hence the treasure.
For those interested in a chocolate treasure chest (which might also make you smile), I am including the picture and website recipe of something which came up when I googled treasure chest image... though I can't imagine it only takes 30 minutes to prepare! I think I still prefer my treasures in word form...