Words, Words, Words

14 Jan

((Hillary interjection – by some bizarre twist of . . . bizarre, two of the divas wrote on the same subject this week. Both are up today! Enjoy!))

Because we can never have enough David Tennant:

I have a list on my desk.  It goes:

  • magistricide
  • isangelous
  • namelings
  • theomeny

They most likely came from Save the Words — a quick visit to which has caused me to add “temerate” and “tristificial” and “scathefire” and ohgodIhavetostop…

Ahem.

Anyway.  Beneath that is a a pile of pages torn from the 2009 Forgotten English page-a-day calendar:  chimble, elucubrate, callifudge, darkemans. July 25th of that year featured the word “alls,” which (according to Ebenezer Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1887) were

The refuse of all sorts of spirits drained from [patrons’ unfinished] glasses, or spilt in drawing.  The mixture is sold in gin-houses at a cheap rate.

Ew.

But…  But doesn’t it evoke a scene?

A dimly lit tavern, dark-stained wood scuffed and splintered in places.  People in varying states of drunkenness.  A serving boy wandering from table to table, emptying the last half-inch or so of abandoned mugs into — what?  A pitcher?  A jug?  Carrying them behind the bar to dump into a barrel?  A scraggly, down-on-his-luck patron bellies up to order the cheap stuff, and a man in the corner watches him clutch at the glass like a drowning man holds onto a rope.  Or the barkeep bows his head low and talks in hushed-tones to the scraggly man, who isn’t wretched at all, but keen-eyed and dangerous.  Or the tavern-maid brings a hunk of bread over with the swill and looks at the man with longing before she turns away.

I don’t know what I’ll do with the words in this pile.  Some of them, I think, are begging to be pulled out of obscurity and used again.  Others might set the tone for a character or a scene, even if they go unused.

I know a lot of readers and divas here are making with the wordsmithing.  If you’re so inclined, why not hie on over to Save the Words, adopt one, and give us a paragraph featuring it or inspired by it in the comments?  If you’re not so much with the writing, toss one out as fodder for someone else!

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