Matter of words

Matter of words

Bored with the same words that we use in our daily conversation? Here are some old and some new, some obsolete and some strange-sounding words, and a little trivia that you may not have come across.

Have you ever been bitten by a gallinipper? Isn’t that a strange-sounding word for a mosquito? Gargalesthesia is the sensation caused by tickling. I have heard of bigamy, but did you know that there is a word known as digamy? It means a second marriage, after the death or divorce of a spouse. I have had brunch, but I didn’t know that bever is a snack between meals. Kakorrhaphiophobia is the abnormal fear of failure. I had to check it twice to see if I had spelt it right.

Can you believe that the word monsterful (though obsolete now) means wonderful and extraordinary? Some words do sound absurd. Coad-nigs is an expression of surprise.
Are you a cruciverbalist? Well, if you love solving crossword puzzles, then you are one. There you go. Was that a new one for you? How many new words do you learn every year? Here are some recent slang words that I came across.

Chillaxing is a combination of the words chilling and relaxing. Jorts is jean shorts. Phablet is a smartphone with a big screen similar to a tablet. Deskfast is breakfast eaten at one’s desk at work.

Applepick is to steal someone’s iphone. I always envisioned that applepick meant picking apples. Selfie is a snap taken of oneself with a smartphone or a webcam and uploaded on a social media website. Squee is an expression of delight, and a chinwag is an informal chat. Digital detox is a period of time during which a person refrains from using any electronic devices. I think I need to go through the last one.

English has many words borrowed from Indian languages. Curry, bandana, bangle, purdah, nirvana, chutney, khaki, and the list goes on.

At last, the trivia. I was tickled pink when I came across this word. The word ‘Lipsmackinthirstquenchinacetastinmotivatingoodbuzzincooltalkinhighwalkinfastlivinevergivincoolfizzin’ is 100 letters long.

Do you have an urge to count the letters? I have already done that twice, and it is correct. This long word was used by Pepsi’s advertising agency, Boase Massimi Pollitt, in an advertising film in 1973.

‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ is a song from the Disney musical film (1964), Mary Poppins, used as a nonsense word by children.

The following sentence never ceases to amaze me and leaves me in awe. ‘I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality counterbalancing indecipherability transcendentalises intercommunication’s incomprehensibleness.’ Only a genius could come up with such a clever sentence. This is a sentence where the first word is one letter long; the second word is two letters long, and so on.

According to Wikipedia, the longest word in English has 1,89,819 letters and takes about three-and-a-half hours to pronounce it right. It is the chemical name of titin ‘that functions as a molecular spring that is responsible for the passive elasticity of muscle.’ Longest book title? That book is written by Nigel Tomm. It contains 670 words. Can you imagine how long this article would be if I were to add that title here?

Between you, me, and the lamppost, I have made a few errors while writing and speaking. Though I love this language, I make no bones about my ignorance and its ocean of confusing rules. One thing I know for certain, I will never be perfect at it.
Lastly, are you an agelast, a person who never laughs? Well, I do hope at some point in this article, you did crack a smile. I leave you with heartsease, which means peace of mind.

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