Fun With Words ~~~ Malapropisms

 

You are probably asking….’Jackie, what the hell is a Malapropism?’

Well, I’m here to answer that burning question! Ok, I got the answer from the internet. You didn’t really think I knew this, did you? I learn then I pass that knowledge on to you.

We all know that when someone misuses a word, the result can induce hysterics unless of course, it is we who have made the blunder, in which case embarrassment it the more likely effect. When an incorrect word is used like this, a malapropism is born.

For example:

  • He had to use a fire distinguisher.
  • Dad says the monster is just a pigment of my imagination.
  • Isn’t that an expensive pendulum round that man’s neck?
  • Good punctuation means not to be late.
  • He’s a wolf in cheap clothing.
  • Michelangelo painted the Sixteenth Chapel.
  • My sister has extra-century perception.

How did these mixed up sentences get to be named Malapropisms? Again, I’m here to explain.

In his 1775 Restoration comedy, The Rivals, Richard Sheridan introduced a humorous character by the name of Mrs. Malaprop. The name is derived from the French mal à propos, which means inappropriate (we also have the word malapropos in English), and describes the manner in which she used many words in her speech. The self-educated Mrs. Malaprop was always substituting a similar-sounding word for the word that she actually intended, often with the consequence of a hilariously nonsensical sentence. The name Malaprop has been immortalized in the form of the malapropism, any sentence in which one word has been used incorrectly in place of another.

 

 

They are also known as Bushisms as George W. Bush was famous for his misuse of words. In Britain they are often called Colemanballs, the name was coined by Private Eye magazine and is derived from David Coleman, a BBC sports commentator particularly prone to such slips.

Here are some more examples of malapropisms from some famous people.

  • “It is beyond my apprehension.”
       Danny Ozark, baseball team manager
  • “Listen to the blabbing brook.”
       Norm Crosby
  • “This is unparalyzed in the state’s history.”
       Gib Lewis, Texas Speaker of the House
  • “She’s really tough; she’s remorseful.”
       David Moorcroft
  • “And then he [Mike Tyson] will have only channel vision.”
       Frank Bruno, boxer
  • “Cardial – as in cardial arrest.”
       Eve Pollard
  • “Unless somebody can pull a miracle out of the fire, Somerset are cruising into the semi-final.”
       Fred Trueman
  • “We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.”
       George W. Bush
  • “The police are not here to create disorder, they’re here to preserve disorder.”
       Richard Daley, former Chicago mayor
  • “He was a man of great statue.”
       Thomas Menino, Boston mayor
  • “Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.”
       Dan Quayle, Vice President
  • “Well, that was a cliff-dweller.”
       Wes Westrum, about a close baseball game

Well, I don’t know about you but I think I’ve learned enough for one day. See you next time!

 

 

*quotes used from here…..Funwithwords.com

 

 

 

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Word Fun ~~~ Phobia Words

Today I thought I’d have some word fun. I love words, as most of you know, and I wondered where do we get those strange words for phobias? Yeah, my mind is a strange place….

Anyway, phobias, which are just basically fears, seemed like an interesting topic of conversation. We all have them. If someone says they aren’t afraid of something…they lie.

Now me, I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and claustrophobia (fear of closed in spaces), I also have achluophobia (fear of darkness).

What about you? What are you terrified of?

Here’s a list I came up with for words that mean some strange fears. Ok, maybe to those that have these fears they aren’t strange. So I should say, strange to ME fears.

What do you think?

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For all you Vampires out there…. alliumphobia (fear of garlic)

Here’s one of Trump’s fears….allodoxaphobia (fear of other people’s opinions)

Now this one is not one I understand at all…. bibliophobia (fear of books)

My cats have this one…..brontophobia (fear of thunderstorms)

Now, I wouldn’t say I have this fear, I just like to avoid them…..  catoptrophobia (fear of mirrors)

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I wonder how people with this fear go the bathroom?….. coprophobia (fear of excrement)

Another one of Trump’s………criticophobia (fear of critics or criticism)

I know someone who has this….ergasiophobia (fear of work)

I’m not sure what to say for this one….. eosophobia (fear of dawn)

I only have this when I gain too much weight….. geniophobia (fear of chins)

And I know I don’t have this one! ……graphophobia (fear of writing)

I swear there are some people who have this that I know…..hedonophobia (fear of pleasure)

I don’t think anyone who is in the world’s oldest profession has problems with this one…… ithyphallophobia (fear of erect penises)

Ok, I have to admit, I have a bit of this one…… koinoniphobia (fear of rooms full of people)

Know anyone with this one?……  linonophobia (fear of string)

My ex-mother-in-law had this one to the point she would faint if she saw one…..musophobia (fear of mice)

Wonder what someone does if they have to go out in a storm if they have this one?…… nephophobia (fear of clouds)

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Hearing about some….I have no doubt a few people have this one…… novercaphobia (fear of mother-in-laws)

Lot’s of people have this one!……ophidiophobia (fear of snakes)

Do you have this one?……phasmophobia (fear of ghosts)

I know too many people who seem to have this one!……phronemophobia (fear of thinking)

This is one for all those old men in politics who seem to have this one about women! …… prosophobia (fear of progress)

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my little list of fears.

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Tongue Twisters

I’m running behind my schedule, so for today’s post, I made an executive decision to steal some tongue twisters off the internet……as usual some of you might say. ha!

Enjoy!

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Wednesday Whatever!

I almost did a post about the nightmares I’ve been having. Really. They involve Trump and my ex. Now isn’t that the definition of nightmares? Then I decided most of us are probably Trumped out, so I decided to keep my nightmares to myself. I just hope they stop soon because I’m beginning to really dislike the color orange.

Instead, I decided we all needed a little break from the bleak world of Trumpiness. (Yes, that’s a made-up word. Go with it.)

Today I’m going to discuss Spoonerisms. (Yes, this is a REAL word.) What’s a spoonerism you ask? Great question! Spoonerisms are words or phrases in which letters or syllables get swapped. This often happens accidentally in slips of the tongue.

For example…

  • A lack of pies (A pack of lies) (ok, my mind is still on Trump, sorry!)

We’ve all had slips of the tongue. I know I do it. Especially, when I’m excited or angry. Then I want to say something profound (or profane) and it comes out all wrong. Which is funny and it breaks the mood.

Here are some others I’ve found in my research on Spoonerisms (or my procrastination on writing something more profound.)

spoonerisms-1

 

 

Tease my ears (Ease my tears)

My zips are lipped (My lips are zipped)

Cop porn (Popcorn)

Ready as a stock (Steady as a rock)

I hit my bunny bone (I hit my funny bone)

Know your blows (Blow your nose)

And this little story I found….full of spoonerisms. Have a laugh on me!

Goldybear and the Three Locks

Once a time upon, long before there were beddy tares, there lived in a far wood away, the bear threes. There was the boppa pear, the bomma mare, and the little bearby babe.

Now, this gramily of fizzlies hived lappily for a tong, tong, lime, weep in the doods, in a little louse made out of hogs. Things were fine until one morning when they sat down to pour their eatage. You see, the bother mare said, “My porridge is hoo tot!”

And the bother mare pasted her torrage and said, “This is har foo tot!” And the bittle laby bear said, “My porrige is head rot, fike a lurnace!” So the bear threes decided to go for a long woods in the walk, to let their corridge pool.

Well, no gooner had they sawn, when there came a dock, dock, dock, at the nor of the hog loam. And you know who that was? Right! Loldygocks. And she was looking for a plesting race. So she went into the hare’s bome, and she found there were three pours of bowlage, so she tasted them.

Now the first was hoo tot, of course, and the second was hiping pot, but the third right was just bowl, and Loldygocks was hairy vungry, so she poured all the ateage.

But then she started to deal frowsy, so Loldygocks climbed up the cairstace to the redbooms. When she got there, she saw there were bee little threads.

Now, the birst fed was hoo tard. And the becond sed was soo toft. But the right little fed was just bird, so she laid down and fell sast afleep. In fact, she snarted to store. (Snort!)

Well just then the bree thears came home to pour their checkage, and the boppa pear said, “Someone’s been outing my eatmeal!”, and the bother mare said, ” Someone’s been pouring my eatage!”, and the bearby babe said, “Hey, someone’s been grampling my sanola!”

Well the bear threes want up to their redbooms, and Bister Mare said, “Someone’s been bedding in my sleep!”, and the bother mare said, “Someone’s been beeping in my sled!”, and the little bearby babe said, “Someone’s been cruising in my snib, and there she is!”

Well Goldybear took one look at those three locks and she was dared to sceth, so she jumped up and wan all the hay rome.

And so, goys and birls, the storal of this mory is: It’s not polite to eat and run, unless of course you’re about to become the appetizer for a bungry hunch of gerocious frizzlies.

 

 

My grammar checker had heart palpitations on that one! Have you got any spoonerisms that have come out of your mouth? Let us know! 

 

 

 

Let’s Have Some Word Fun!

Hello, People!

I missed Wednesday Whatever! yesterday. I don’t know how I managed that. I wanted to do something for that but I guess I’ll wait until next Wednesday. So for today I thought we would have a little word fun. I love playing with words.

Remember when you were a kid and would do those tongue twisters? Well, I do. I thought we might have a little tongue-twisting fun today. Hope you enjoy them. Try them out!

 

tongue-twisters

 

 

Tongue Twisters

 

 

 

Betty Botter’s Better Batter

 

Betty Botter had some butter,
“But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It would make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better.”
So she bought a bit of butter –
Better than her bitter butter –
And she baked it in her batter;
And the batter was not bitter.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

 

 

 

 

A Two Toed Tree Toad

 

A tree toad loved a she-toad
Who lived up in a tree.
He was a two-toed tree toad,
But a three-toed toad was she.
The two-toed tree toad tried to win
The three-toed she toad’s heart,
For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground
That the three-toed tree toad trod.
But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain;
He couldn’t please her whim.
From her tree toad bower,
With her three-toed power,
The she-toad vetoed him. 

 

 

 

 

 

See’s Saw and Soar’s Seesaw

 

Mr. See owned a saw.
And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.
Now, See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw
Before Soar saw See,
Which made Soar sore.
Had Soar seen See’s saw
Before See sawed Soar’s seesaw,
See’s saw would not have sawed
Soar’s seesaw.
So See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw.
But it was sad to see Soar so sore
just because See’s saw sawed
Soar’s seesaw. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you like them? Do you remember any? Let me know!

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

Today is going to be more word fun. I love words, letters, paragraphs, stories. There are so many people out there with so much talent for writing good stories. Sometimes though I like to read short stories or flash fiction. I love to write them too.

I think the shortest stories I’ve written were the six-word stories that you see sometimes as challenges. Now that truly is a challenge! It’s not so easy. I suppose the most famous six-word story is the one by Hemingway. I’m sure you are familiar with this one…. “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

In fact, I just did a six-word challenge not too long ago over on J.A. Allens blog. She has a challenge going every week over at her blog, why not check it out?

I went on the search for some six-word stories. Here’s some of what I found. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Wednesday

 

I’ll start out with my own six-word story that I did for J.A. Allens challenge.

Stormy night. Checked in Hotel California.

Now some of what I found.

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Can you write your own six-word story? Please do in the comment section, I would love to read them! 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

It’s been a bit of a weird and busy week for me. So today to relax I’m going to show you some more weird and wonderful words.

I love old or barely known words. They fascinate me for some reason. So today I’ll show you some I’ve come across in my research. Hope you enjoy!

 

Wednesday

 

A: argle-bargle……copious but meaningless talk or writing (sort of like some of my stories!)

B: borborygmus……a rumbling or gurgling noise in the intestines (now when I get those rumblings in the tummy, instead of saying I’m hungry, I’ll just tell people “don’t worry, it’s just a borborygmus!)

C: chiliad……..a thousand things or a thousand years (never in a chiliad would I have guessed that!)

D: doryphore………a pedantic and annoyingly persistent critic of others (I’m looking at you, D. Trump!)

E: ecdysiast……..a striptease performer (I’m not sure what to say…we all got to make a living.)

F: futz…….to waste time or busy oneself aimlessly (I do tend to futz a lot.)

G: gasconade……….extravagant boasting (I do not gasconade when I talk about myself. Much.)

H: habile……deft or skilful (I am habile in wasting time. ha!)

I: incunabula……books printed before 1501 (books is much easier to say!)

J: jumentous…….resembling horse’s urine (now wouldn’t this be fun as an insult! “you are jumentous, my good sir!” ha!)

K: karateka…..a person who performs karate

L: logomachy…….an argument about words (we could have a logomachy about this post if we wanted, but we won’t)

M: mouse potato……..a person who spends large amounts of their leisure or working time on a computer (I didn’t know they had a word(s) for what I do every day!)

N: nugacity……..triviality or frivolity (like this post!)

O: onolatry……..the worship of donkeys or asses (now I know a few people who worship themselves and they are asses….)

P: pother………a commotion or fuss (I’m sure there will be no pother about this post!)

R: rawky…………foggy, damp, and cold (it was rawky here this morning!)

S: suedehead…….a youth like a skinhead but with slightly longer hair and smarter clothes (I just thought this was funny)

T: triskaidekaphobia……extreme superstition about the number thirteen (I knew someone who had this. I just called her weird.)

U: umbriferous…….shady

V: velleity………a wish or inclination which is not strong enough to lead one to take action (I have a velleity to vacuum.)

W: wabbit……..exhausted or slightly unwell (and here I thought it was Elmer’s way of talking about Bugs!)

Z: zopissa…….a medicinal preparation made from wax and pitch scraped from the sides of ships (oh I bet that was beneficial!)

 

There you have it, folks. If anyone can add-on with words of your own, please go ahead! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ Fun With Words

Hello, People! Remember me? Today for Wednesday Whatever I thought we would have another edition of Fun with Words. Being a writer and a lover of words in general, finding the different ways to have fun with words is ….well, fun! Let’s see what I have for you today……

 

Wednesday

 

Today I thought I would bring you some different words you don’t see every day. Words that are unusually specific and therefore, perfect for certain situations and words that are just fun to say.

Like…..

bibliobibuli……people who read too much. (Is that even possible??)

discalced………barefooted (just saying he’s barefooted is not near as much fun as saying, ‘he’s discalced’)

latrinalia………..graffiti found in restrooms. (Here I just thought all those writings were just defacing it!)

recidivist…….one who continually commits crime and seems incurable of criminal tendencies (I have some relatives that are recidivists.)

ultra-crepidarian………….giving opinions or criticism beyond one’s own range of experience. (Wow! They’ve been on facebook!)

walla-walla………..the unintelligible sound made by many people talking at once. (Oh my, our family reunions are full of walla-walla)

tergiversate………to turn one’s back on one’s party or cause; also, to make evasive statements or equivocate. (Trump if full of tergiversates!)

spanghew……….to cause a frog or toad to fly up in the air. (Don’t frighten the frogs!)

frogs

quincunx…………the pattern of five objects arranged such that four of the five objects form a square, while the fifth is positioned in the middle. (The dots on the ‘5’ side of a die are arranged in a quincunx.)

perendinate…………..to put off until the day after tomorrow; also, to keep postponing from day to day. (I always perendinate the bills)

omphalopsychite…………one who contemplates his navel. (Everyone needs a hobby)

jillick……..to skip a stone across water. ( I used to jillick when I was a kid!)

expiscate…….to learn through laborious investigation (As I did with this post!)

donnybrook……….a brawl or heated public dispute.(The last presidential debate was a donnybrook!)

chatoyant…………changing in luster or color, as cat’s eyes. (Now this I did not know!)

floccinaucinihilipilification……..the categorizing of something as worthless. (Like this post!)

 

There you have it people, just a few of the better ones I found. Now I think I need to find a pond so I can jillick and take a break.

 

 

Have you come across any words that are unusual? 

Wednesday Whatever!

Welcome to another edition of Wednesday Whatever! I bet you are on tenterhooks thinking…..What is she going to talk about today?

Well, there is a hint in the above sentence. Can you find it? No? Ok, let me tell you. It’s the word ‘tenterhook’. I’ve also seen it written ‘tenderhook’, but the right way is tenterhook. A strange kind of word that one doesn’t see too often anymore. But I love using the odd word now and again. Like ‘alas’…I love that word.

So today I thought we might look at words or phrases (idioms) that are sometimes used that we wonder where they came from. Like tenterhook.

It’s meaning, of course, is ‘a state of suspense’. This is via Wikipedia:

Tenterhooks are hooks in a device called a tenter. Tenters were originally large wooden frames which were used as far back as the 14th century in the process of making woollen cloth. After a piece of cloth was woven, it still contained oil from the fleece and some dirt. A craftsperson called a fuller (also called a tucker or wa[u]lker) cleaned the woollen cloth in a fulling mill, and then had to dry it carefully or the woollen fabric would shrink. To prevent this shrinkage, the fuller would place the wet cloth on a tenter, and leave it to dry outdoors. The lengths of wet cloth were stretched on the tenter (from Latin tendere, meaning “to stretch”) using tenterhooks (hooked nails driven through the wood) all around the perimeter of the frame to which the cloth’s edges (selvedges) were fixed, so that as it dried the cloth would retain its shape and size. By the mid-18th century, the phrase “on tenterhooks” came to mean being in a state of tension, uneasiness, anxiety, or suspense, i.e. figuratively stretched like the cloth on the tenter.

 

Drop a Dime

Who besides me (because I’m old) remember saying this? Come on! Fess up! I mean the ‘old’ meaning and not the drug type one! Geesh, people. This means to make a phone call. According to American Idioms:

This is a good phrase to discuss with anyone born after 1970. When pay phones were still around they really did cost 10 cents at one time. The dime was dropped into the slot of the pay phone.

 

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Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth

Another oldie but goodie. My mom still uses this one as do several other people I know. Most know what it means of course, but how many know where it came from? American Idioms says:

Horses have gum lines that recede with age. Hence older horses have longer teeth than young horses.
To “look a horse in the mouth” is to examine the horse’s mouth closely to determine its age (and therefore its usefulness and/or worth). To immediately judge a gift based on its worth or usefulness rather than the “thought” behind it considered rude, and ungrateful (it is a gift after all, and didn’t cost the receiver anything).
The phrase is apparently quite old, a Latin version of it appeared in a work by St. Jerome in 420 AD, and it also exists in many languages. An Early english version (1510 AD) appears in John Standbridge’s “Vulgari Standbrigi”: “A gyuen hors may not (be) loked in the tethe.”

 

Close but no cigar

I admit I use this one quite often. It means one almost achieved success, but not quite. I never really gave a thought of where it came from so I thought this was interesting. Who doesn’t love a good carny, eh?

Carnival games of skill, particularly shooting games, once gave out cigars as a prize. A contestant that did not quite hit the target was close, but did not get a cigar.

 

mage by John Leech, from: The Comic History of Rome by Gilbert Abbott A Beckett. Bradbury, Evans & Co, London, 1850s Fulvia
image by John Leech, from: The Comic History of Rome by Gilbert Abbott A Beckett.
Bradbury, Evans & Co, London, 1850s
Fulvia

 

Let the cat out of the bag

I was ignorant about this one. Until now. Poor kitties. According to my reading, this is where it came from.

At medieval markets, unscrupulous traders would display a pig for sale. However, the pig was always given to the customer in a bag, with strict instructions not to open the bag until they were some way away. The trader would hand the customer a bag containing something that wriggled, and it was only later that the buyer would find he’d been conned when he opened the bag to reveal that it contained a cat, not a pig. Therefore, “letting the cat out of the bag” revealed the secret of the con trick.

 

Rule of thumb

We all probably know saying this means something that is usually right, but not always. Did you know where it came from?

Based on the use of ones thumb as a rough measurement tool. Generally correct for coarse measures.
Most old English measures of distance were based on the body measurements of the king — the length of the foot, inch (thumb tip to first knuckle), cubit (elbow-to-fingertip), and yard (nose-to-fingertip).

 

Toe the line

Some people mistakenly say or write ‘tow the line’. Alas, this is wrong! It really is toe the line, which means, of course, a person is expected to do what is right. Here is why.

This term comes from military line-ups for inspection. Soldiers are expected to line up, that is put their toes on a line, and submit to the inspection.

 

And there you have my lesson for today. So toe the line and don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and accept my small piece of advice. Write it right!

 

 

What kind of old phrases do YOU use? 

 

 

Fun With Anagrams

Hello, People!

I missed Monday’s Meeting yesterday. Don’t ask. It was a strange kind of day for me.

So today I thought I would bring you some more fun with words. Last time it was Palindromes. Today it’s Anagrams! Aren’t we exciting? Don’t answer that.

I’m sure you are all familiar with anagrams but let me refresh your memories. An anagram is a word, name or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another, using each original letter only once. Some of the best ones I think are ones that manage to link the new word, name or phrase to the original one in some way, such as when ‘listen’ becomes ‘silent’.

Let’s see what I could come up with.

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Astronomers = No more stars

Conversation = Voices rant on

The country side = No city dust here

If I wanted to see what I could do with my name “Jackie Phillips”…….. Jail Slick Eh Pip

Clint Eastwood = old west action

The check is in the mail = claim “heck I sent it (heh)”

snooze alarms = alas! no more z’s

William Shakespeare = Willie makes a phrase

To Breathe is to Write = a tot be shortie write

the detectives = detect thieves

debit card = bad credit

vacation times = I’m not as active

 

A-Game-of-Letters-1898-McL

 

 

That’s just a few I found or made. I bet you have some to add to the list! Let me know.