Amy Frits just joined our happy congregation of Good Word subscribers (now over 30,000 strong). When she suggested her first two Good Words, she included the story behind them which I think bears repeating (with her permission, of course). Here is her letter, slightly edited:
Two more words that readers might enjoy: inro and foppish.
My eldest child (who is now 20) found these two words in the dictionary one boring day:
inro = a Japanese box worn on the waist
foppish = foolish or silly
He walked around school telling kids who rubbed him the wrong way to “stick it in your foppish inro!”
The teachers thought he meant something bad, and so reproached him for saying it. He simply told them to look it up (an idea that apparently had not occurred to them). They discovered that it was not bad at all: “stick it in your silly Japanese box.”
We still laugh about it. The teachers were not happy.
Words change attitudes—even lives. [Dr. Goodword]