Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Word Nerd

I'm in between errands and giving my poor sore feet a rest.  Although my ankle surgery happened five months ago, it is not uncommon for me to overdo it, and already today it feels like I may have done just that.

Today is the Mother of all Picking and Gathering events, as I shop for all the food and other items I will be needing when the flood of family comes in for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I'm not sure my car is large enough to haul it all in one trip.  Or my wallet.  I've just brought home the first load, and I still need about that much more in the next trip.

Yesterday I blogged about the wonderful smorgasbord of books I've been reading lately.  Of course, with all that reading I'm also coming across some awesome new words I've never seen or used before.

We can all stand to grow a few of our brain cells a little larger, so let me share some of these new words with you:

1.  potsy or potsie (yes, there are 2 possible spellings) - the game of hopscotch or the discarded heel used as a player's game marker.

When I was a young girl, we played hopscotch out on the sidewalks in front of our homes.  I do remember that my friends Laurie and Suzanne and I each had our own heel for these occasions.  Sometimes Janet came, but she didn't have her own potsie.

2.  boutade - a sudden outburst

I am sure the kids around here issued a loud boutade today when it was announced that school was closing early due to the snowstorm.

3.  bummel - to stroll or leisurely journey

Bummel on down to the grocery store and get me some mustard, please.

4.  fouta - large cloths that originally hail from Turkey and North Africa and can be used as towels, sarongs, table runners, picnic blankets, and shawls.

5.  cabinet - this is what Rhode Islanders call a milk shake.  Coffee is their most popular flavor.

I'll have the chocolate cabinet, of course.

6.  rhumba - a group of rattlesnakes.

My worst nightmare is being trapped within a rhumba.

7.  declasse -  "trailer trash" in French.

You get more declasse customers at a diner like 'Bubba's.'

8.  obganiate - to irritate someone by constantly repeating oneself.  (This came from the Weird Word of the Day app for iphone.)

9.  schlump - what women look like if they are, ahem, sagging and dragging.  

10.  flump - although it rhymes with schlump, is has nothing to do with that word.

It's flu season.  I would recommend avoiding flumps altogether by not high fiving or fist bumping.

11.  skookum - fairly good-sized.  I saw this word the first time ever in a blog written by Rick Doyle, see Rick and Paulette's RV Journal.  I believe he was repairing something and said it required a skookum screw. To the best of my researching abilities, it seems this is a term used primarily in the Pacific Northwest, and means fairly large or even monstrous.  Thank you Rick.

12.  snaughling - when you are laughing so much that you snort.  My mother tells an embarrassing story of doing this many, many years ago on one of her first dates.  My father verifies that this did indeed happen.  Milk out of the nose.  Yup.

Now, I dare you to use one of these words today in a sentence.  

You, too, can be a word nerd like me.


  1. Skookum means best or ultimate - works great in other words.

  2. When I first went to Penn State, used the term "red up" my room to a guy and he asked if I were going to paint it red. I told him that in the part of western PA where I came from it meant "clean up" or straighten up the room. Then not too many years ago, I heard it again on TV. Mat Dillon on Gunsmoke used it to mean he to clean up the office. I finally felt justified. . .

  3. And here I thought Potsy was a character on Happy Days.