Tag Archives: Vocabulary Lists

What the Heck is a Castanurgle?

Cover of "The Meaning of Tingo: And Other...

Cover via Amazon

Today I continue with my sort-of new feature: Made-It-Up Mondays.

I am throwing out a 100% made-up word and asking you to a) define the word, and b) then use the word in a sentence that indicates how the word could be used.

Why? Because someone recently gave me the book The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.

For example:

“Faamiti” is a Samoan word, a verb, meaning to make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog. Or a child.

We don’t really have a word for that in English, do we?

When I can’t find the right word on the word-shelf to fit my mood or predicament, I often just make one up.

The last time we did this the word was “brissue” and two people came closest: Carol H. Rives and Save Sprinkles guessed that the word had something to do with a “bra issue.” And they are right. Kind of.

It is definitely a ladies’ issue.

I use the word to indicate the problem when a woman finds a fabulous garment on a sale rack, but she immediately notices that she will have difficulty finding just the right undergarment to wear underneath it. Basically, she will have to decide if she wants the fabulous garment — knowing full well that she will likely spend hours searching for just the right bra — or if she should walk away from the amazing bargain, thus saving herrself a lot of time and aggravation.

Trust me, men, this is a major brissue!

Continuing alphabetically, this week, the made up word is:

CASTANURGLE

What the heck is that? When would you say it? Define it and give me a sentence in which you show me how you would use it.

You know, if it were a real word. 😉

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From Zhaghzhagh to Arborcade

Cover of "The Meaning of Tingo: And Other...

Cover via Amazon

Today marks the beginning of a new feature for me: Made-It-Up Mondays.

On Mondays when I’m in the mood, I am going to throw out a 100% made-up word and ask you to a) define the word, and b) then use the word in a sentence that indicates how the word could be used.

Why? Because someone recently gave me the book The Meaning of Tingo: And Other Extraordinary Words from Around the World.

(Of course, it is my new favorite book.)

I read that that there are approximately 1,010,649.7 words in the English language. And while this seems like a really enormous lexicon, many nuances of human language sometimes leave us tongue-tied.

Sometimes it is necessary to turn to other languages to find a word to find le mot juste.

As Bill DeMain noted in his article “15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent”:

“Zhaghzhagh” is a Persian word, a noun, meaning the chattering of teeth from extreme cold or rage.

We don’t really have a word for that in English, do we?

When I can’t find the right word on the word-shelf to fit my mood or predicament, I just make one up.

It will be fun to see what other people come up with.

Remember, you can’t be wrong because the word I throw out will be a 100% fictional word.

If you’d like to submit a made-up word of your own, feel free to contact me. (My info is under the “Contact Me” tab.)

I’m starting alphabetically.

This week, the made up word is:

ARBORCADE

What the heck is that? When would you say it? Define it and give me a sentence in which you show me how you would use it.

You know, if it were a real word. 😉

Words That Piss Me Off

Juxtaposition of circle and square cakes

Is it an English teacher thing or do normal other people have a collection of words that carry emotional weight for them?

By this I mean, do regular folks like certain words and dislike other words? Or do most people just walk about the earth caveman-style without worrying too much about things like this?

Let me give you a for example.

I was reading a blog the other day.

It mentioned the word “juxtaposition.”

Do you get it?

I have to tell you that I have a thing about the word “juxtaposition.”

That word pisses me off.

First of all, I missed it on my SAT’s over 20 years ago.

(Okay, fine, over 25 years ago – whatever!)

I totally remember coming out of the lunchroom after being made to sit next to a repetitive pencil-tapper for three consecutive hours on a gorgeous Saturday morning. (Let’s not even discuss the fact that I have a thing about repetitive noises. My closest friends know that if they tap something more than five times in a row, I will throw them to the ground.) Let’s just say, I was definitely a little twitchy.

Anyway, I came out of the cafeteria and went a little ape-shit.

Me (all indignant): Who even knows what juxtaposition means? Anyone? I mean who would know that word?

Everyone looked at me blankly.

And then one person defined it.

Perfectly.

Mr. Smarty Pants: Juxtaposition is the act of placing close together or side by side, for comparison or contrast.

Me: Really, Mr. Smarty Pants. That’s awesome that you know that. Can you use it in a sentence?

Mr. Smarty Pants: ‘I like the construction of sentences and the juxtaposition of words – not just how they sound or what they mean, but even what they look like.’ That’s a quote by Don DeLillo.

Me: Who the hell is Don DeLillo?

Mr. Smarty Pants: Where did you say you want to go to college?

I was sooooo pissed.

But from that moment forward, i have never forgotten the dang word.

Do you get it now?

And the reality is, I love the juxtaposition of words and ideas!

Oh, the irony!

And guess what? Now I use the word “juxtaposition” all the time.

Almost daily.

Just because.

I will not tell you the other skillion words that drive me bonkers bother me because if I am ever taken hostage in a bizarre twist of events that would lead to the taking of hostages, I would rather be water-boarded than have people whisper my least favorite words in my ears.

Can you imagine if my captors juxtaposed the whispering of all those awful words with simultaneous, repetitive pencil tapping?

That, dear readers, would be hell.

(*shiver*)

What words drive you to pain and chaos, and why?