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favourite (or favorite :-)) quirky word
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Raven



Joined: 07 Apr 2006
Posts: 46
Location: Vermont, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My late aunt, born in 1900, had words in her vocabulary that have long since gone out of style (though I never knew whether she was aware of that or was just having herself a private joke). I was always charmed to hear them spoken delicately in her soft refined voice. My favorites:

counterpane
reticule
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:53 pm    Post subject: favourite (or favorite :-)) quirky word Reply with quote

Oh yeah, tintinabulation is definately good! Also it reminds me of Tintin just to hear it! I would love to be a tintinabulator, secure in my tintinabulations after a good luncheon or a cold collation!

As I am skinny, I am a bit of a spindleshanks myself!! It sounds to me like the name of a Victorian villain from a Dickens novel. A long, lean lanky character with a face like a streak of cold lard...!

I do like persnickety, which to my British ear sounds particularly American. I've not heard it here in the UK at all. We'd just say fussy, but persnickety has added nuances to it. A Miss Persnickety could very well feature in an American 19th century novel actually. She'd have a straw bonnet and a pale cotton dress with a floral motif and possibly she'd be a bluestocking.

Doppelganger must surely be a wizard... he'll turn up in a Harry Potter novel before long, I'm sure.

Erin, my French teacher used to call her little girl her 'petite champignon(ne)' so it always reminds me of that little girl in a long knitted coat (long for her) and a little soft beret toddling along holding her dad's hand. She's probably in her twenties now!

I do like counterpane because it reminds me of Marchpane the old name for marzipan. And I have seen lots of reticules in the course of my museum work, charming beaded things along with tiny handbags/purses that were all reticules.
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Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mostly I enjoy pronoucing words correctly when the vast majority of the vulger pronounce them in the common but incorrect manner.

A few examples of words which nearly every American gets wrong:

schism - siz-em
fort - fort (meaning what you're good at not the musical term)
valet - val-et (pronounce the "t" at the end, not end it with a long "A"
February - feb-ru-ary
clique - cleek, as in weak, not "click" as in chick.

Another pet peeve is the use of the word "moot". To moot something means to discuss it further. Most people assume moot means that it is irrelevant.
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Last edited by Sarape on Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

onomatopoeia
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 932
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: favourite (or favorite :-)) quirky word Reply with quote

Judy,

I was taught to remember onomatopoeia by a teacher who said to remember that it was why the dog was in disgrace... think about it! Wink

Sarape,

Valet with the 'ay' ending is the proper French pronounciation, which is why that happens. Valette would be 'ett' in ending.

Forte has the same meaning for what you're good at and the musical term - strong. So the word should really be pronounced Fort not Fortay. Not even in French as far as I understand it.

And I'm definitely with you on moot. It was originally from the term for a meeting. Saxon meeting houses were called moots where they met to discuss matters. A moot point is one that is debateable, not irrelevant.

For me, the origins of words are as exciting as the words themselves because they show why they are the way they are.

Scintillating is another favourite of mine, footloose, because it's original opposite was footfast meaning shackled. So if you were footloose it was because the shackles were off.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, I don't get it, Griffin. I can relate pop, meow, hiss and buzz to onomatopoeia, but don't get why the dog was in disgrace.

Thanks in advance for enlightening me.
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JM



Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Montreal, QC

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I forgot one more - it's German, but such a wonderful word, once you know the meaning.

Schaudenfreude


Secretly taking pleasure in another's misfortune....
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jude..the best I can make of it is: on o mat a pee a... Wink 'twas why naughty doggie was in disgrace..
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffin,
You are a font of knowledge! It is really a delight to read your posts.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D'OH! Merci madame, I really do lack imagination sometimes.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

then there's mudita ..which is the happiness in another's good fortune..
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emilyj



Joined: 26 Jun 2006
Posts: 184
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a wonderful post.

I would have to agree with Clotilde about discombobulation. I also like 'pugnacious' which is what my father always used to call me when I was in a bad mood Smile

I had a friend who was English and used to use the word 'twat' a lot which I really like the sound of.

I also like phonetic (because it isn't) and twee
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How well I remember my mother saying: "I'm going to spiflicate you." ..to any of the brood who might have whatevered Wink

I wonder if she had any idea it meant "I'm going to destroy you."!!!!! To all of us it simply sounded like a fun word.....true enough it had a bit of weight to it...however not THAT much.

begun in the mid-18th century it seems...

'n

honorificabilitudinity ~ the state of being loaded with honors..

the longest word Shakespeare used was a variant:

"I marvel thy master hath not eaten thee for a word;
for thou art not so long by the head as
honorificabilitudinitatibus: thou art easier
swallowed than a flap-dragon."
[Love's Labour's Lost, Act 5, Scene 1]
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Melly



Joined: 24 Jan 2006
Posts: 72
Location: Limburg Province, The Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am frequently discombobulated, snarky, and petulant. Along with being both gregarious and garrulous. I don't like to bother with things that are too fiddly, but do indulge in Schadenfreude. I like saying wonky.

Just to make myself feel better for using moot incorrectly all these years, I found this entry at dictionary.com:

Usage Note: The adjective moot is originally a legal term going back to the mid-16th century. It derives from the noun moot, in its sense of a hypothetical case argued as an exercise by law students. Consequently, a moot question is one that is arguable or open to debate. But in the mid-19th century people also began to look at the hypothetical side of moot as its essential meaning, and they started to use the word to mean “of no significance or relevance.” Thus, a moot point, however debatable, is one that has no practical value. A number of critics have objected to this use, but 59 percent of the Usage Panel accepts it in the sentence The nominee himself chastised the White House for failing to do more to support him, but his concerns became moot when a number of Republicans announced that they, too, would oppose the nomination. When using moot one should be sure that the context makes clear which sense is meant.

The usage makes sense to me. You are arguing the point in moot court as a law student, but really it makes no nevermind since it is just an excercise.
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madameshawshank



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
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Location: Penrith (where jacarandas remind me of change), New South Wales, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darlings All...I feel as though we're celebrating The Festival of the Quirky Word! And the wonder is ~ that it's ongoing...

each time I open this thread I'm wondering.."now, what on earth is in store today!!!"

such such fun
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