• stodgy •
Pronunciation: stah-jee • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: 1. (Food) Fattening, unhealthy, rich. 2. Heavy-set, stocky, pudgy. 3. Square, old fashioned, uptight, conventional, unimaginative, resistant to anything new or fresh—in short, boring.
Notes: The D in today's word should be redundant, since DJ and J are generally pronounced the same. However, without the D, today's word becomes stogy, a kind of cigar. The comparative and superlative forms of this adjective are stodgier and stodgiest; the noun is stodginess. Don't forget to replace the Y with I in all these forms.
In Play: Today we use this word to refer to those who are very conventional if not old-fashioned: "Francine decided to keep her new boyfriend with the spiked hair, nose rings, and tattoos a secret rather than risk an encounter with her stodgy parents." Let's not leave the other meanings of this word behind, though: "Hermione has become rather zaftig from the stodgy meals her mother cooked, don't you think?" (Meow.)
Word History: Today's Good Word is the adjective to the verb stodge "to stuff or cram full". Where this verb came from, no one knows. It may be related to stoach "to make impressions (footprints) in the mud", but no one is sure of this either. English speakers once stodged themselves at table as they stuff themselves today. The origin of this verb, however, is a complete mystery.