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(... and the odd rant)

All of these make my world go 'round, to some extent, and they will all be found here at some time or other. Some of the photography can be purchased from my Redbubble site. I can also be found at Tempus Fugit (no longer being updated).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Word for the day

I was asked today what my favourite word is. Difficult; I tend not to have favourites; nor do I see much of the world in black and white, just many shades of grey. I settled on whisky – specifically malt whisky but might need to reconsider. Other candidates would include:

  • prosperity
  • wife
  • sleep
  • discumknockerate
I once amused a young colleague when I used the word 'splendid', so perhaps that should be on the list.

I am fond of invented words, but care must be exercised when using them, or the audience can be left behind. Scrabble often brings the opportunity to create Welsh words, when all you have on your tile rest is 6 consonants and one vow-ell...

Being a Scot (at least, I was born there; my heritage is in the Sherwood Forest area), I am wont to use the occasional bit of dialect; not too much, because a Scots accent is bad enough in Australia, without introducing weird words as well. I once watched a bit of
Looking After Jo Jo and was amazed to see subtitles being used, to help Aussie viewers understand the Edinburgh accent. Were the subtitles in English? Were they chook! They were in dialect, so made nae difference at a'. What a laugh!

Within the richness of the Scots tongue can be found such gems as:
  • shoogle - shake
  • tumshie - turnip
  • nyaff - a useless, objectionable, tiresome person
  • skelp - to smack, especially a child's backside ("I'll skelp your dowp!")
I was talking one day to a fellow Scot, in the presence of an Englishman. Jason was talking about the scooshers on his car, and I never gave the word a second thought, until Brian's face contorted in puzzlement; we had to explain that Jason was referring to the windscreen washers. Oh, the joy of secret language ;-)

So, preserve the richness of the spoken word, and use a regional word today.

3 comments:

rex del kappa said...

It sounds like you have spent too much time with one of our Western Australian senators, judging by the last word on your list.

Over dinner with friends last Saturday, we gave "fecundity" a bit of a word of the day workout, so I vote for it being added to your list.

Duncan said...

The defendant pleads not guilty.

'Fecundity' is indeed a wonderful word to roll around the tongue, while 'pragmatic' has a very no-nonsense, workman-like ring to it, and is something where the teeth can be involved as well.

E said...

I learnt to sing "Twa Corbies" almost phonetically, off the internet, as I was using the poem to teach my students etymological roots of some words and to get them interested.

I've been told by several Scotsmen it's pretty spot on!