Resurrecting the English language – one post at a time
I like words. Granted, I don’t have a solid grasp on them, but I still like them just the same. So given my fondness for unusual words, when I come across one I particularly like, I naturally research its meanings and etymology. Yeah, I know, some life, right?
I like words that are fun to say. Some words are just fun. The word macaroni is fun to say, but it could be because every time I say it I’m reminded of Gene Wilder in the movie Silver Streak. “I’m a macaroni.” Well, I guess you had to be there. Stream it sometime.
I especially like words that aren’t in the common vernacular (ooh, now there’s a good one, vernacular, you don’t hear that every day). There’s an old meaning for the word macaroni that fits this category, too. Maybe they’ve fallen out of favor, or they’re no longer fashionable, or perhaps their meaning has changed over time, and they’re not used in polite company anymore. Not that anyone has ever mistaken me for polite. Or company, for that matter.
So given my proclivity for words, and the abundance of them scribbled on scraps of paper all around me, and considering the paucity of other material I have that the world would want to consume with relish (no, not eat with the condiment), I thought I’d start sharing some of these words with you, my Gentle Reader(s). And I thought I’d make it a recurring post subject. I can tell you’re thrilled. Settle down. We’ll begin when you stop happy dancing. What’s that? Oh, it’s down the hall, on the left. Jiggle the handle.
noun British informal: codswallop
1960s: sometimes said to be named after Hiram Codd, who invented a bottle for carbonated beverages (1875); the derivation remains unconfirmed.
Courtesy of Google Dictionary
This is one of those words that’s just fun to say. Codswallop, codswallop, codswallop. Just imagine, you’re at some family dinner arguing with your crazy old uncle rudyblues, and he’s blathering on about something, and you stand up in the middle of his bloviating, slam your fist down onto the table, and yell “Codswallop!” Fun, right? The Brits have some wonderful words.
noun: treacle plural noun: treacles
- British word for molasses
- cloying sentimentality or flattery
“Enough of this treacle – let’s get to work”
Middle English (originally denoting an antidote against venom): from Old French triacle, via Latin from Greek thēriakē ‘antidote against venom,’ feminine of thēriakos (adjective), from thērion ‘wild beast.’ The sense ‘molasses’ dates from the late 17th century; ‘sentimentality’ arose in the late 18th century.
Courtesy of Google Dictionary
Treacle is fun to say and an amazing example of how the English language has changed over the centuries. Again, treacle, treacle, treacle, like a childhood taunt, like nana nana boo boo! And how can we move from an antidote for venom, through molasses and obsequiousness, to a venomous way to insult someone’s writing? That rudyblues writes such treacle!
Well, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? I could go on if you’d like, I’ve lots more where those came from. Come on, let’s give it a go, shall we? Not so much, eh? OK, have it your way then. Be sure to tune in next week for more “Words We Should Use More Often.”
P.S. Google, if you’re listening, if I haven’t attributed you properly, please accept my apologies and all these dandy scraps of paper. -rb