Words and Weariness


I’m low on sleep.  Blame it on ballroom team elections and deliberations last night, which went from 8 pm until 2 am.  I know I have the bad habit of comparing everything to the Bataan Death March…

I don’t have a young person’s sleep schedule.  I like going to bed and waking up on different days.  All I wanted to do today was lie in bed and eat pancakes. (I typed ‘eat panics’ first and now I’m worried about the state of my subconscious).

It’s days like this that I turn to the vicissitudes of the English language, foggily inscrutable even when one has had the most restful of sleeps.

  • malarkey: I miss you, Joe Biden 😥
  • foofaraw: Such an expressive word
  • umbrage: I love that you can ‘take umbrage at’ something- where does that come from? A second meaning: a shade or shadow, especially as cast by trees.
  • ferocious: Ferosh. Rawr.
  • haggard: Like foofaraw, very expressive. Also King Haggard from The Last Unicorn. Who was, you guessed it, haggard.
  • dollop: Is this onomatopoeia? Dollop.
  • wistful: Full of wist.
  • sundry: Reminds me of sundries tomatoes, but actually means something similar to ‘miscellaneous’. And a cricket term. How very British.
  • secateur: Pruning shears, not a street in New Orleans (that would be Decatur).
  • trowel
  • trounce: This word sounds so gleeful, really shot through with schadenfreude.
  • bevy
  • arcane
  • furrow: You can furrow your brow and you can’t plant seeds in furrows in fields.
  • romp: Speaking of fields.
  • rigmarole: Was this originally Italian and if so, mustn’t the ‘e’ on the end have been pronounced?

I love when we adopt words (like bologna) and decide to completely mispronounce them.

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