Category Archives: Wordplay

An exploration of words and language

10 Spoonerisms, Oxymorons, & Palindromes

Here are three lists of special kinds of words…. a diversion for our wordsmith followers.

Spoonerisms are slips of the tongue by transposing the sounds of words, usually by accident. (The term “spoonerism” is derived from W.A. Spooner (1844 – 1930), an English clergyman noted for such slips.)

  • a lack of pieces – a pack of lies
  • tips of the slung – slips of the tongue
  • pleating and humming – heating and plumbing
  • chilled grease – grilled cheese
  • sparking pace – parking space
  • chewing the doors – doing the chores
  • clappy as a ham – happy as a clam
  • wave the sails – save the whales
  • tease my ears – ease my tears
  • our queer old dean – our dear old Queen

 

Oxymorons are adjectives describing nouns of opposite meaning (such as a jumbo shrimp)

  • virtual reality
  • original copy
  • old news
  • act naturally
  • pretty ugly
  • constant variable
  • exact estimate
  • paid volunteers
  • sound of silence
  • only choice

 

Palindromes are words or sentences that read the same backward or forward.

  • A nut for a jar of tuna.
  • Borrow or rob?
  • Do geese see God?
  • Go hang a salami. I’m a lasagna hog.
  • A man, a plan, a canal: Panama!
  • We panic in a pew.
  • Never odd or even.
  • Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
  • Madam in Eden, I’m Adam.
  • Murder for a jar of red rum.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Def’n on the origins of popular sayings

HOT OFF THE PRESS
As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it is hot. The expression means to get immediate information.

A SHOT OF WHISKEY
In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.

THE WHOLE NINE YARDS
American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.

BUYING THE FARM
This saying is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you “bought the farm” for your survivors.

PASSING THE BUCK/THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it as common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn’t want to deal he would “pass the buck” to the next player. If that player accepted then “the buck stopped there”.

CURFEW
The word “curfew” comes from the French phrase “couvre-feu”, which means “cover the fire”. It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called-a “curfew”.

IRON CLAD CONTRACT
This saying came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

And from the days of steamship travel on the mighty Mississippi River…

RIFF RAFF
The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a “riff” and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.

SHOWBOAT
These vessels were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These barges played in small towns along the Mississippi River . Unlike the boat shown in the movie “Showboat” these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is “showboating”.

BARGE IN
Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they “barged in”.

HOGWASH
Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless “hog wash”.

OVER A BARREL
In the days before CPR a drowning victim would be placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in an effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.

(ed. – Our thanks again goes out to friend Dick Inwood who is a constant source of wonderment.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Double-takes Wordplay

Let’s take everyday words and do a double-take…

  • Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
  • Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  • Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  • Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  • Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  • Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  • Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  • Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
  • Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  • Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  • Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
  • Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
  • Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
  • Pokemon (n), a Jamaican proctologist.
  • Frisbeetarianism (n.), the belief that, when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
  • Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

This list that was first printed years ago in the Washington Post and has forever circulated on the Internet and in e-mails ever since. The words are the winning entries in the newspaper’s contest that asked readers to supply alternate meanings for various words.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Oxymoronica

Dr. Mardy Grothe is a ‘wordsmith extraordinaire’ and he is an author of many books that take an in-depth look at some of the more amusing elements of our English language. A case in point is his book entitled Oxymoronica.

By Dr. Grothe’s own definition, oxymoronica is a noun that means: “Any compilation of phrases or quotations that initially appear illogical or nonsensical, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true.”

The following list of oxymorons is concerning ‘writers’ and it is one of the many treasures found within the book Oxymoronica.

  • It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous. — Robert C. Benchley
  • A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. — Thomas Mann
  • I love being a writer. What I hate is the paperwork. — Peter De Vries
  • I don’t think I am any good. If I thought I was any good, I wouldn’t be. — John Betjeman
  • We are all failures — at least, all the best of us are. — J. M. Barrie, on writers
  • Be obscure clearly. — E. B. White, advice to writers
  • A good novel is possible only after one has given up and let go. — Walker Percy
  • If it sounds like writing, I re-write it. — Elmore Leonard
  • It takes less time to learn how to write nobly than how to write lightly and straightforwardly. — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Writing came easy — it would only get hard when I got better at it. — Gary Wills
  • Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead. — Gene Fowler

And here are samples of poets who have created ingenious oxymoronic verse:

Our interest’s on the dangerous edge of things.
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
The superstitious atheist.
— Robert Browning, in “Bishop Blougram’s Apology”

In solitude, when we are least alone.
— Lord Byron, in “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”

Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied.
— T. S. Eliot, in “Ash Wednesday”

Here’s a good rule of thumb:
Too clever is dumb.
— Ogden Nash

And ’tis remarkable that they
Talk most who have the least to say.
— Matthew Prior, in “Alma”

A day
Spent in a round of strenuous idleness.
— William Wordsworth, in “The Prelude”

For those who love the art and fund of ‘wordplay,’ there is a tremendous site for your surfing pleasure at http://www.drmardy.com/

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

25 Funniest Puns Ever

  1. How do you make antifreeze? Steal her blanket!
  2. eBay is so useless. I tried to look up lighters and all they had was 13,749 matches.
  3. I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.
  4. I’ve just written a song about tortillas. Actually, it’s more of a rap.
  5. I have a few jokes about unemployed people, but it doesn’t matter; none of them work.
  6. I wasn’t originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
  7. It was an emotional wedding. Even the cake was in tiers.
  8. I hate insects puns; they really bug me.
  9. Did you hear about these new reversible jackets? I’m excited to see how they turn out.
  10. How did I escape Iraq? Iran.
  11. I made a graph of my past relationships. It has an ex axis and a why axis.
  12. Did you hear about the explosion at the cheese factory in France? De-brie was everywhere…
  13. I’m glad I know sign language; it’s pretty handy.
  14. I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised.
  15. Why do Swedish warships have barcodes on them? So when they dock they can Scandinavian.
  16. It’s really hard to explain puns to a kleptomaniac. They always take things literally.
  17. I am on a seafood diet. Every time I see food, I eat it.
  18. My girlfriend told me she was leaving me because I keep pretending to be a Transformer. I said, “No, wait! I can change.”
  19. My cross-eyed wife and I just got a divorce. We didn’t see eye to eye. I also found out she was seeing someone on the side.
  20. What’s the worst thing about ancient orators? They tend to Babylon.
  21. My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn’t concentrate.
  22. I wanna make a joke about sodium, but Na…
  23. A book just fell on my head. I’ve only got my shelf to blame.
  24. A pet store had a bird contest, no perches necessary.
  25. I saw an ad for burial plots and thought to myself, this is the last thing I need.

SOURCE:  From List 25 ~ https://list25.com/25-funniest-puns-ever/

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

6 more punny memes

Here are 6 punny memes recently shared with By George… enjoy.

Send us your favourite punny memes and we will attempt to get as many posted in our Twitter feed @ByGeorgeJournal. We will also pick a dozen puns to feature here in the Journal on May 1st.

Email us your puns at cgacomm@gmail.com

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Those punny e-newsletter memes

By George has created a stir among ints readership by putting out a challenge to share favourite puns through the month April. In our latest newsletter – Punny Stuff – we shared six great pun memes and ask people to start sending their favourites on our Facebook and Twitter.

Over the next few weeks, it will be fun to watch our readership’s collective efforts. For the record, here are the original six pun memes from our e-newsletter that started it all.

If you wish to receive future By George newsletters, fill out the online form and we will be pleased to get you on our mailing list.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

3 unforgettable, very punny memes!

These past few weeks, on Facebook and Twitter, By George has been polluting our social media stream with very punny memes. Our sadistic nature has us continuing this mission through April.

By way of example, here are a few of our more amusing posts this month – 3 unforgettable guffaws!

 

For those who have found this post via the latest By George newsletter, do you agree these are the punniest?! Was there another meme that you thought should have been selected?

Send us your favourite punny memes and we will attempt to get as many posted in our Twitter feed @ByGeorgeJournal. We will also pick a dozen puns to feature here in the Journal on May 1st.

Email us your puns at cgacomm@gmail.com

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

For Lexophiles

“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those that have a love for words and twisted phrases, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” Here is a great list forwarded to us by good friend Dick Inwood, who is a true lexophile.

 

When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

When she saw her first strands of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

And the cream of the twisted crop:

Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Anagrams (to admire)

PRESBYTERIAN / BEST IN PRAYER

ASTRONOMER / MOON STARER

DESPERATION / A ROPE ENDS IT

THE EYES / THEY SEE

GEORGE BUSH / HE BUGS GORE

THE MORSE CODE / HERE COME DOTS

DORMITORY / DIRTY ROOM

SLOT MACHINES / CASH LOST IN ME

ANIMOSITY / IS NO AMITY

ELECTION RESULTS / LIES – LET’S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS / ALAS! NO MORE Z ‘S

A DECIMAL POINT / I’M A DOT IN PLACE

ELEVEN PLUS TWO / TWELVE PLUS ONE

 

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Really, there’s nothing like a good pun

A fellow once sat up all night wondering where the sunshine comes from….

Finally, it dawned on him.

PUNS – we swear they make the world spin counter-clockwise. We absolutely love to hear that groan…. Here are three that will have your colleagues and friends looking sideways.

#1 – A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day his supply of birds ran out, so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, the biologist was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

#2 – An Inuit out hunting seals in his boat found that his feet were beginning to freeze. Carefully shaving off little strips of wood from the frame he was able to get enough fuel to start a small fire by his feet. Unfortunately the hide covering of the boat caught on fire as well and his entire craft was consumed by flames. This goes to prove that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

#3 – A man rushed into the doctor’s office and shouted, “Doctor! I think I’m shrinking!!” The doctor calmly responded, “Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient.”

 

(ed. – Have you heard a good pun lately? Pass it on!)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

 

Of Virtues and Vices

Writers will appreciate these listings… and, at the office, perhaps they will serve as good reference(s) for spicing up the next meeting?

The 7 holy virtues:

  • Faith – complete trust
  • Hope – to expect with confidence
  • Charity – goodwill and the love of humanity
  • Prudence – control and discipline
  • Justice – being impartial and fair
  • Temperance – moderation in action
  • Fortitude – strength

The 7 deadly sins:

  • Pride – excessive belief in one’s own abilities
  • Envy – excessive desire for possession of another’s
  • Gluttony – consuming more than one needs
  • Lust – excessive thoughts and actions of a carnal nature
  • Anger – uncontrolled feelings of hatred and rage
  • Greed – excessive desire for material wealth or gain
  • Sloth – avoidance of physical and spiritual work

And for the creators among our readership, here are the 9 muses we must pay homage to:

  • Calliope – muse of epic poetry
  • Clio – muse of history
  • Erato – muse of love poetry
  • Euterpe – muse of music
  • Melpomene – muse of tragedy
  • Polyhymnia – muse of sacred poetry or mine
  • Terpsichore – muse of dance
  • Thalia – muse of comedy
  • Urania – muse of astronomy

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Vonnegut’s 8 rules for writing

In his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, American author Kurt Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short story:

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Gotta love Vonnegut!

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Fun Wordplay

1. ARBITRATOR: A cook that leaves Arby’s to work at McDonalds

2. AVOIDABLE: What a bullfighter tried to do

3. BERNADETTE: The act of torching a mortgage

4. BURGLARIZE: What a crook sees with

5. CONTROL: A short, ugly inmate

6. COUNTERFEITERS: Workers who put together kitchen cabinets

7. ECLIPSE: What an English barber does for a living

8. EYEDROPPER: A clumsy ophthalmologist

9. HEROES: What a guy in a boat does

10. LEFTBANK: What the robber did when his bag was full of money

11. MISTY: How golfers create divots

12. PARADOX: Two physicians

13. PARASITES: What you see from the top of the Eiffel Tower

14. PHARMACIST: A helper on the farm

15. POLARIZE: What penguins see with

16. PRIMATE: Removing your spouse from in front of the TV

17. RELIEF: What trees do in the spring

18. RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife

19. SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does

20. SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official

 

(ed. – Many thanks to our friend and an endless source of laughter, Dick Inwood.)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top-10 Modern Phrases Originating from a Shakespeare Play

globetheater

Here are the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary’s top-10 phrases used in our language today that have been taken from one of the masterful Bard’s works.

 

#1: Green-Eyed Monster

#2: In a Pickle

#3: Love is Blind

#4: Salad Days

#5: Wear My Heart on My Sleeve

#6: There’s the Rub

#7: Cruel to Be Kind

#8: Wild Goose Chase

#9: Dogs of War

#10: Strange Bedfellows

 

To have the sayings sourced and to learn of their common usage today, we encourage you to go to the dictionary’s slide presentation.

 

(ED. – This is a repost that originally appeared in By George Journal in July 2010.)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

Wonderful Aphorisms

An aphorism is a short, pointed sentence that expresses a wise or clever observation or a general truth… like these gems:

  • The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.
  • Money will buy a fine dog but only kindness will make him wag his tail.
  • If you don’t have a sense of humor you probably don’t have any sense at all.
  • Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
  • A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water.
  • How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
  • Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
  • Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
  • Scratch a dog and you will have a permanent job.
  • There are no new sins — the old ones just get more publicity.
  • There are worse things than getting a call for a wrong number at 4 a.m — like, it could be the right number.
  • No one ever says “It’s only a game” when their team is winning.
  • I’ve reached the age where ‘happy hour’ is a nap.
  • Money can’t buy happiness but somehow it’s more comfortable to cry in a Cadillac
  • After 60, if you don’t wake up aching in every joint you’re probably dead.
  • Always be yourself because the people that matter don’t mind – and the ones that mind don’t matter.
  • Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

 

(ed. – Thank you to our friend Claude Bennett for forwarding this wonderful list.)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

20 uniquely Canadian words

Here are 20 uniquely Canadian words – a list By George found that is currently circulating on social media.

  1. Angishore. A Newfoundland insult meaning someone who’s too lazy to go fishing. The word is thought to be a variation of “hang-ashore,” hence its pejorative use, although some dictionaries define it as meaning someone who’s simply weak and sickly.
  2. Beau cave. French Quebecois slang meaning “total idiot.” If you get called this, you’ve really irked somebody.
  3. Bender. A bad hockey player — one whose skates are so badly tied that his ankles bend.
  4. Bushed. A west coast description of someone who’s been in the bush too long and has become somewhat uncivilized.
  5. Chiseler. A hockey player who falsely claims he got an assist when he didn’t, thus “chiseling” points from his teammate.
  6. Christer. This slang term from the Maritimes is often heard as “little christer” and equivalent in meaning to “little devil.” Most often used to refer to a mischievous child.
  7. Chucklehead. A word from Newfoundland meaning — pretty obviously — someone who’s stupid.
  8. Doughhead. Popular in southern Ontario, an insult that’s synonymous with “stupid” and “thick in the head.”
  9. Dusty/duster. A (bad) hockey player who spends all her time on the bench, gathering dust.
  10. Gorby. A loud, obnoxious, ignorant tourist. Popular in Ontario’s Muskoka area (where, it must be admitted, gorbies abound).
  11. Hoser. The classic Canadian insult. Originally refers to the losers of a hockey game, who, in pre-Zamboni times, would have to hose the rink down once the game was done. Now it’s a synonym for “loser” — but with a particularly Canadian flavour.
  12. Keener. Someone who tries just a little too hard, sucking up to an authority figure and showing off how much they know. Think Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, only Canadian.
  13. Newfie. A perjorative term for a Newfoundlander. Some consider it a term of endearment, others can’t stand it and some have decided to reclaim it and use it proudly.
  14. Pas fort. The French version of “fail.” Said in response to hearing that someone did something dumb. “I dropped my car keys into the slush.” “Pas fort.”
  15. Pigeon. A hockey player who isn’t good enough to score goals on his own, so he picks up the trash shots made his other teammates.
  16. A Rink Rat. A somewhat affectionate term for a kid who hangs around a skating rink, sometimes to meet players, sometimes to try and get free ice time in exchange for chores.
  17. Scivey. Pronounced “sky-vee,” this east coast word refers to someone untrustworthy or sneaky.
  18. Sieve. A really terrible goalie (i.e. one that lets through lots of shots, like a holey sieve).
  19. Skeet. This Newfoundland insult is similar to “white trash,” and generally refers to young miscreants who loiter and commit petty crimes.
  20. Squatch. A shortening of “sasquatch” that, in western Canada, refers to someone big and unkempt.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Top 10 Funny-Sounding and Interesting Words

words

Here is an interest top-ten list. The Merriam Webster dictionary has listed the 10 most funny sounding and interesting words.

 

  1. Bumfuzzle / to confuse; perplex; fluster
  2. Cattywampus / (dialect) askew, awry, kitty-corner
  3. Gardyloo / used in Edinburgh as a warning cry when it was customary to throw slops from the windows into the streets
  4. Taradiddle / 1 : a fib 2 : pretentious nonsense
  5. Billingsgate / coarsely abusive language
  6. Snickersnee / 1. (archaic) to engage in cut-and-thrust fighting with knives 2 : a large knife
  7. Widdershins / in a left-handed or contrary direction; counterclockwise
  8. Collywobbles / pain in the abdomen and especially in the stomach; a bellyache
  9. Gubbins / (dialect Britain) fish parings or refuse; broadly : any bits and pieces
  10. Diphthong / two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound, e.g. the sounds of “ou” in out and of “oy” in boy

 

Source: merriam-webster.com

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

10 popular contronyms

Contronyms are words that are their own antonyms – a word that is contradictory or can have an opposite meaning. Here are 10 popular such words.

 

  1. Help means ‘assist,’ unless you can’t help doing something, when it means ‘prevent.’
  2. Left can mean either remaining or departed. If the gentlemen have withdrawn to the drawing room for after-dinner cigars, who’s left? Well, the gentlemen have left and the ladies are left.
  3. Off means ‘deactivated,’ as in “to turn off,” but also ‘activated,’ as in “The alarm went off.”
  4. Weather can mean ‘to withstand or come safely through,’ as in “The company weathered the recession,” or it can mean ‘to be worn away’: “The rock was weathered.”
  5. Screen can mean ‘to show’ (a movie) or ‘to hide’ (an unsightly view).
  6. Oversight is the noun form of two verbs with contrary meanings, “oversee” and “overlook.” “Oversee” is Old English for ‘look at from above,’ which means ‘supervise’ (medieval Latin for the same thing: super- ‘over’ + videre ‘to see.’) “Overlook” usually means the opposite: ‘to fail to see or observe; to pass over without noticing; to disregard, ignore.’
  7. Dust (along with the next two words) is a noun turned into a verb meaning either “to add” or “to remove” the thing in question. Only the context will tell you which it is. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it? It depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.
  8. Seed:  If you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.
  9. Stone:  You can stone some peaches, but don’t stone your neighbor.
  10. Fast can mean “moving rapidly,” as in “running fast,” or ‘fixed, unmoving,’ as in “holding fast.” If colors are fast they will not run. The meaning ‘firm, steadfast’ came first. The adverb took on the sense ‘strongly, vigorously,’ which evolved into ‘quickly,’ a meaning that spread to the adjective.

 

Read the full text here – brought to you by that wonderful site, Mental Floss!

 

You can find a list of 75 contronyms on this post in Daily Writing Tips.


Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

20 rules of fine writing

1.  Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
2.  Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3.  And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
4.  It is wrong to ever split an infin-

itive.

5.  Avoid clichés like the plague.
6.  Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.
7.  Also, too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
8.  No sentence fragments.
9.  Contractions aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be used.
10. One should NEVER generalize.
11. Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
12. Don’t use no double negatives.
13. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
14. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
15. Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.
16. Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
17. Use the apostrophe in it’s proper place and omit it when its not needed.
18. Puns are for children, not groan readers.
19. Who needs rhetorical questions?
20. Proof read to see if you any words out.

 

(ed. – This post has been previously published in By George Journal, first in 2008.)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.