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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:33 am

• Zounds! •

Pronunciation: zownz • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Interjection

Meaning: An exclamation of great surprise slightly stronger than Good Grief! Good Heavens! Goodness Gracious me!

Notes: Today's word has been pronounced [zunz], like wounds (injuries) and [zownz] but seems to have stabilized on the latter pronunciation. We offer this word in our on-going battle against profanity for it is an authentic, ear-opening substitute for so many offensive expletives you hear today. Try it yourself. Your real friends will be impressed.

In Play: Forget all the terrible things you might say as you pound your thumb with a hammer. "Zounds! That smarts!" in a loud enough voice conveys all that needs to be said. Men: are you seeing a woman whose vocabulary is larger than yours? Impress her tonight with something like this: "Zounds! That is a stunning dress you are wearing!"

Word History: Today's golden oldie of an exclamation is a euphemistic abbreviation of an expletive curse, by God's wounds! There isn't much history of wound available; it turns up only in the Germanic languages (German Wund, Dutch wond) with pretty much the same meaning. We do know little more about god. It seems to go back to a PIE root meaning "to call, invoke", which also resulted in Russian zvat' "to call" (zovu "I call"). But even this derivation produces more problems than insights. (This is not the first word from Larry Brady, the Stargazer of our Agora, that made us say, "Zounds! What a great word!")
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Grand Panjandrum
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Postby skinem » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:40 am

Gadzooks! I wondered where zounds came from!
Great word! (If I used zounds in conjunction with my wife's appearance, she just might hit me, regardless of what was actually said!)

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Postby Bailey » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:35 pm

skinem wrote:(If I used zounds in conjunction with my wife's appearance, she just might hit me, regardless of what was actually said!)

Perhaps it is because of it's unfortunate similarity in sound to hounds or Pounds!

mark never-says-those-words-to-a-lady Bailey
that's no lady, that's my wife.....

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...

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Postby Perry » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:10 pm

mark never-says-those-words-to-a-lady Bailey

Zounds like a plan!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."

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