Search found 160 matches

by David Myer
Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:49 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Aitch
Replies: 28
Views: 6102

Aitch

aitch Debate rages in Australia on whether the correct name of the letter 'H' is aitch or haitch. I thought it was clear cut and that people who said haitch had been poorly educated. My observation (purely anecdotal) is that in Australia, it is people who have had a catholic education that use the ...
by David Myer
Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:35 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Dross
Replies: 0
Views: 810

Dross

I love the sense of disdain (or superiority) that attaches to this word.

But the origin is slightly unsatisfactory. Is it the dregs (on the bottom) or the scum (on the top)? Can it really be either?
by David Myer
Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:18 am
Forum: Good Word Suggestions
Topic: Stuff
Replies: 5
Views: 1781

Stuff

This rather charming correspondence between me in Australia and a tour company in Cambodia got me thinking about stuff. I wrote: We recently undertook a trip from Siem Reap to HCM on the Jahan. Our guides suggested that it would be nice to have pencils, crayons, books etc for the school we visited w...
by David Myer
Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:18 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Dudgeon
Replies: 1
Views: 742

Dudgeon

Lovely word. We all know about high dudgeon, but what about a dudgeon dagger. My guess is that Goodword members will be thrilled to hear that it is also known as a bollocks dagger, for, as it turns out, obvious reasons. I have what can only be described as a 'bollocks steel' for sharpening knives. L...
by David Myer
Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:42 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Craic (sometimes crack)
Replies: 10
Views: 3174

Craic (sometimes crack)

I love this Irish/Scottish word because it means something that is not directly translatable into English. Lots of languages have a similar word although each has a slightly different nuanced meaning. German Gemutlich (I think - no expert on German), French Bonhommie and so on are rough translations...
by David Myer
Wed May 13, 2015 7:33 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Clam
Replies: 8
Views: 1737

Re: Clam

Excellent Iain! I love booey for buoy, although I believe the Scots actually use that booey pronunciation, and I have a lot of time for the Scots and their pronunciation. They are amongst the few that roll their 'R's to distinguish properly between Lawn and the Victorian town Lorne, for example.
by David Myer
Tue May 12, 2015 5:05 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Clam
Replies: 8
Views: 1737

Re: Clam

I wince at mollusk with a 'k' because of my English heritage, but at least I can see the logic - notwithstanding the Latin origin of the word which had a 'c'. The 'k' implies a Greek origin. But never mind, it is the American way. But vise with an 's' is inexplicable. I accept that American spelling...
by David Myer
Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:29 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Gravamen
Replies: 3
Views: 1164

Re: Gravamen

And no relation at all to 'gravy', however drab. Which reminds me of the lovely line from Tony Hancock, a 60s BBC comedian. When presented at sunday lunch with a plate of roast beef and potatoes, he paused and said "Well, I thought my mother was a bad cook, but at least her gravy moved ."
by David Myer
Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:31 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Elan
Replies: 11
Views: 2687

Re: Elan

Not 'High brow', surely. Haute couture!
by David Myer
Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:58 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Elan
Replies: 11
Views: 2687

Re: Elan

And what a good show that Prairie Home Companion is. We even enjoy it in Australia from time to time.

And of course 'Style' is Middle English (1066 - 14??) from the Old French. They would have needed the word for the first time when the French arrived.
by David Myer
Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:48 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Elan
Replies: 11
Views: 2687

Re: Elan

I guess it would have done. The French were the ruling class and courtiers, the English were peasants. What does a peasant need words like 'suave' for? Simply not in the vocabulary. If everyone is gauche, then no-one is. Gauche is the norm and so not to be sneered at from within. I wonder if 'style'...
by David Myer
Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:04 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Elan
Replies: 11
Views: 2687

Re: Elan

Ahh, another French word adopted into English because the English have no understanding of style and so no word to match it. I have gradually collected over the years, a list of such words. It is astonishingly extensive. Here it is if anyone cares: Elan, Suave, Chic, Gauche, Elegant, Debonair, Vogue...
by David Myer
Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:29 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Blag
Replies: 6
Views: 1903

Blag

To obtain something by guile. I'm interested in the origin of this, I gather British word. Perhaps because of the illicit nature of the activity, there are I guess, lots of colloquial alternatives and blag is itself probably in that bracket. I daresay that several regional alternatives could be fort...
by David Myer
Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:25 am
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Chagrin
Replies: 4
Views: 1094

Re: Chagrin

If chagrin is a rough hide, presumably chamois is a soft one?
by David Myer
Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:55 pm
Forum: Good Word Discussion
Topic: Remonstrate
Replies: 8
Views: 1834

Re: Remonstrate

It has to be REmonstrate. It follows the same pattern as demonstrate, surely? That's also why remonstration is better than remonstrance (apart from the fact that it sounds sweeter and is easier to say). I see we now have a spell-checker on this! Doh! My last post included the made-up word 'demonstra...

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