I've mentioned before that I am a fan of clever word smithing and love to read authors that are exceptional at it. Patrick Rothfuss is one such example. The King Killer Chronicles is a masterful example of a well written story and is chocked full of fun terms and phrases that are so quotable it carries a certain Douglas Adams.....esq feel. Part of Rothfuss' charm is his habit of combining words in new and interesting ways or utilizing words that have long since gone out of style.
This is a trend that I would like to see more of. There are some words and phrases that provide such a colorful images that it would be a crime to let them retire into a lexicographical cemetery.
Testicular Fortitude - I was introduced to this wonderful term in The Name of the Wind by the aforementioned Patrick Rothfuss and I've only been able to use in once since then.
Poppycock –What a wonderful word! I rarely get to enjoy myself so much while yelling bullshit. Fun fact: Poppycock originated from the Dutch dialect and literally translated as soft dung. I think we lose some in the translation but.....it would be fun to look someone straight in the eyes with the certainty that they are lying and bellow “Squishy shit!”
Philandering - Back in the 1700s Philander was a popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry. Now to philander is synonymous with a womanizer, a man who flirts incessantly and yet refuses to marry. Not really a funny word but I love the way it sounds. I'm sure that there are plenty of women out there who can vehemently name a few philanderers that have …..touched their lives in some way.
Moxie - When was the last time you were ever accused of being full of moxie? It has been years since I was accused of being full of the stuff (usually I'm accused of being full of another substance). Sure it was a potentially senile old person who said I was full of moxie and I didn't have a clue what he meant, but hot-dog I walked tall the rest of the day.
Jiggle - Jiggle had a brief resurgence when the people at Jello describe to use this lovely word in their jingle to describe the movements of their edible gelatinous globules. "See it wiggle, watch it jiggle". I would have loved to be in the marketing room:
Board Room: ….
Marketing Team: So? What do you think?
BR: Your want our target audience, who happen to be young children, to watch things jiggle and wiggle?
MT: Yes, it perfectly describes our product.
BR: Don't you think it's a little ….. Suggestive?
MT: ….no why? Jello jiggles a lot. Have you ever tried to carry a bowl of the stuff down stairs?
BR: Know what else also jiggles?
MT: That's not what the song is about
BR: Have you ever seen a well endowed lady run down the stair holding her chest? It looks like she is trying to carry a bowl of flesh flavored Jello.
MT: ….but we already recorded the jingle and have the tv spots lined up.
BR: Maybe nobody will notice.
Plethora - I know for a fact that our family is single handedly responsible for the underground movement of this masterful word. I think the best use of this word was in the historically accurate western іThree Amigos!
Jefe: I have put many beautiful piñatas in the storeroom, each of them filled with little surprises.
El Guapo: Many piñatas?
Jefe: Oh yes, many!
El Guapo: Would you say I have a plethora of piñatas?
Jefe: A what?
El Guapo: A *plethora*.
Jefe: Oh yes, you have a plethora.
El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
El Guapo: Well, you told me I have a plethora. And I just would like to know if you know what a plethora is. I would not like to think that a person would tell someone he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
Jefe: Forgive me, El Guapo. I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education. But could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?