By Cathy Thurber
Anyone that knows me knows that I love words. So much so, that I have a few friends at work who like to make fun of me for it. And no, I am NOT a super-nerd for liking big words (thank you, Jen and Audra). I just find our English language to be pretty cool….there are so many different ways to say the same thing. I guess that’s why I received a degree in English Literature. You just couldn’t hold me back from the words! Well, Shakespeare was important, too. But, when I hear a new word that I don’t know it’s meaning, I just have to find it out.
In honor of the great English language, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you (I can hear my friends groaning right now):
Amaranthine: This is one of my newest favorites….and one of the reasons my colleagues made fun of me (because I wanted to know what it meant). Amaranthine means everlasting or unfading. It also means of purplish-red color because of the amaranth flower. My love for words is amaranthine.
Asinine: Not a large word and one that’s also used regularly, but still one of my favorites. It means senseless, moronic, idiotic. As in, “The bar not paying their liquor liability policy is asinine.” Duh.
Stupendous: Wonderful, amazing. Huge and immense. My brother-in-law’s ego is stupendous. Hee hee. Just kidding, Shawn. Or, am I?
Woolgathering: An indulgence in idle daydreaming. I find myself woolgathering around 3pm every day. That’s when I know it’s time for coffee and a snack.
Panache: Flamboyance in manner or style. Liberace had it in spades. So does Elton John. Although, I’m really not sure about the style part….
Persnickety: Overparticular or fussy. My mother was persnickety about her jeans. They couldn’t have zippers, yet they also couldn’t have the appearance of having a zipper. Can you say “crazy?”
Libation: another word for beverage, especially an alcoholic one. I believe we need a Friday libation cart that is pushed around the office. I know it would help end the week in an upbeat manner!
Caterwaul: to make a harsh cry or screech. My neighbors kept me up all night with their caterwauling. It’s a TV people – there’s no reason to have an argument over what show to watch. Have you not heard of DVR?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: Yes, I just had to put this in because – believe it or not – it’s in the dictionary as an adjective. It’s a nonsense word used to express approval. It’s also the longest word in English. Mary Poppins’ chimney-sweeping friend, Bert, was a genius.
Go ahead. Use a new word today. People will probably look at you oddly….but that’s ok. They probably already were anyway.