Saturday, November 13, 2010

Word Nerd

I find languages to be amazingly interesting, and I am also a bit of a grammar nerd. For your enjoyment, here are 20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback, courtesy of I am making it my goal to use each of these words at least once in my day-to-day conversation in the coming week, and I suggest you do the same.

1. Jargogle
Verb trans. – “To confuse, jumble” – First of all this word is just fun to say in its various forms. John Locke used the word in a 1692 publication, writing “I fear, that the jumbling of those good and plausible Words in your Head..might a little jargogle your Thoughts…” I’m planning to use it next time my husband attempts to explain complicated Physics concepts to me for fun: “Seriously, I don’t need you to further jargogle my brain.”

2. Deliciate
Verb intr. – “To take one’s pleasure, enjoy oneself, revel, luxuriate” – Often I feel the word “enjoy” just isn’t enough to describe an experience, and “revel” tends to conjure up images of people dancing and spinning around in circles – at least in my head. “Deliciate” would be a welcome addition to the modern English vocabulary, as in “After dinner, we deliciated in chocolate cream pie.”

3. Corrade
Verb trans. – “To scrape together; to gather together from various sources” – I’m sure this wasn’t the original meaning of the word, but when I read the definition I immediately thought of copy-pasting. Any English teacher can picture what a corraded assignment looks like.

4. Kench
Verb intr. – “To laugh loudly” – This Middle English word sounds like it would do well in describing one of those times when you inadvertently laugh out loud while reading a text message in class and manage to thoroughly embarrass yourself.

5. Ludibrious
Adj. – “Apt to be a subject of jest or mockery” – This word describes a person, thing or situation that is likely to be the butt of jokes. Use it when you want to sound justified in poking fun at someone. “How could I resist? He’s just so ludibrious.”

6. Sanguinolency
Noun – “Addiction to bloodshed” – Could be a useful word for history majors and gamers, as in “Genghis Khan was quite the sanguinolent fellow” or “Do you think spending six hours a day playing Postal 2 actually fosters sanguinolency?”

7. Jollux
Noun - Slang phrase used in the late 18th century to describe a “fat person” – Although I’m not sure whether this word was used crudely or in more of a lighthearted manner, to me it sounds like a nicer way to refer to someone who is overweight. “Fat” has such a negative connotation in English, but if you say “He’s a bit of a jollux” it doesn’t sound so bad!

8. Malagrugrous
Adj. – “Dismal” – This adjective is from Scots and may be derived from an old Irish word that refers to the wrinkling of one’s brow. An 1826 example of its use is “He looketh malagrugorous and world-wearied.” I’m tempted to also make the word into a noun: “Stop being such a malagrug!”

9. Brabble
Verb – “To quarrel about trifles; esp. to quarrel noisily, brawl, squabble” – Brabble basically means to argue loudly about something that doesn’t really matter, as in “Why are we still brabbling about who left the dirty spoon on the kitchen table?” You can also use it as a noun: “Stop that ridiculous brabble and do something useful!”

10. Freck
Verb intr. – “To move swiftly or nimbly” – I can think of a lot of ways to use this one, like “I hate it when I’m frecking through the airport and other people are going so slow.”

11. Brannigan
Noun – “A drinking bout; a spree or ‘binge’” – Brannigan was originally a North American slang word, but it is now rarely used. “Shall we go for a brannigan on Friday?” can be a more sophisticated way to discuss such activities.

12. Perissology
Noun – “Use of more words than are necessary; redundancy or superfluity of expression” – A useful word for editors: “Thanks for your 4,000-word submission. Unfortunately there is too much perissology in this piece for us to publish it.”

13. Quagswagging
Noun – “The action of shaking to and fro” – This can also be used in verb form, to quagswag, and is pronounced like “kwag swag.” It could definitely work as the name for a new type of dance, or possibly serve as an alternate way to describe a seizure.

14. Hoddypeak
Noun – “A fool, simpleton, noodle, blockhead” – This one doesn’t need any explanation as to how you could use it; you may already have someone in mind who fits the description.

15. Bibesy
Noun – “A too earnest desire after drink.” – “Bibesy” may have been completely made up in the 18th century and it’s unclear whether it ever made it into common use, but it could easily be used today: “Wedding guests waited anxiously for the bar to open; bibesy should be expected after such a long, dull service.”

16. Scriptitation
Noun – A 17th-century word meaning “continual writing” – Matadorians taking part in this year’s National Novel Writing Month are getting good practice at scriptitation!

17. Widdendream
Noun – “A state of mental disturbance or confusion” – I can start using this obsolete Scottish word right away: “While working on writing my thesis, I find I am constantly in widdendream.”

18. Yemeles
Adj. – An Old English and Middle English word meaning “careless, heedless, negligent” – Pronounced as “yeem-lis,” this is another word that could prove useful for teachers around the world: “Handing in messy and incomplete work just shows me you are being yemeles, and I won’t hesitate to give you a zero for the assignment.”

19. Twitter-light
Noun – “Twilight” – Used in the early 17th century, “twitter-light” sounds like a romantic way to refer to the hours as the sun goes down.

20. Illecebrous
Adj. – “Alluring, enticing, attractive” – Alright, so at first this word kind of sounds a way to describe something diseased, but if you put the stress on the second syllable for emphasis, it does sound like a compliment: “That girl was so illecebrous; I’ve got to figure out how to see her again.”

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A little life update

So as some of you may know, as of August I am officially serving in the Americorps for a year. I will be working at Hoover Elementary in North Mankato, MN as an Elementary Literacy tutor through the MN Reading Corps (which is a program of the Americorps)

My living stipend is minimal, so I will still be putting hours in at Barnes & Noble to keep on top of my bills, etc. It's going to be an incredibly rewarding experience though, and it will look wonderful on my resume. I also get a $5,300 ish grant to put toward my student loans!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Go with the flow

Last night I headed down to a local coffee shop (the Coffee Hag - if you're ever in the Mankato area, definitely stop by!) to watch a few local musicians (Betty and Ocho) perform. According to facebook a few of my friends would be there, so my initial plan was to just head down and figure I would run in to someone. As luck would have it one of my dear friends Hannah hit me up on Facebook chat asking if we could go together as a date, and we agreed to meet up a little before the show started.
The Hag was mostly empty as we first sat down, but others began to trickle in, including a few of the friends I had expected to see. We got invited to stop by the after party, which was going to include pina coladas and dancing to an 80's cover band. Since it was going to be 10 before the show was over, and I needed to be up at 6:30 for work, my initial thought was no, but then I decided "why not?" Worst-case scenario I would end up totally hungover and dragging myself to work at 6:30 am feeling completely like shit and barely conscious, but since I only work for an hour or so, it would be THAT big of a deal. Best-case scenario I'd have a great time, meet some new people, and get to listen to a new band.
I'm certainly glad I went, because I fully enjoyed the pina coladas, some awesome guacamole, and dancing in the basement to It Came From the 80's. I met some new people, had a fun time with friends, and went home at 12:30, sweaty from dancing in the hot basement, but in a great mood.

The moral of the story? When you have an opportunity, take it. Usually the worst-case scenario isn't even that bad, and what are the odds of that WORST happening anyway?

Monday, May 10, 2010


Well, I finished finals last week, and summer is here! Although temperatures got near freezing the other night -- silly Minnesota, did you forget it's May?

I had tons of friends that graduated this weekend, congrats to all of them! And congrats to Jenna and John on their marriage! MANY, MANY happy years to you two!

For mother's day today, my little kitties got me a giftcard to the pet store -- hmmm, I wonder what sort of purchases they had in mind? Well, I don't know how they saved up money for my gift, but I'm pretty sure they got some help from daddy ;)

This week marks the start of my summer. I'm still on the hunt for a job, so I'm going to have a lot of free time until I re-join the ranks of the employed... any suggestions for books/music?

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Despite my best efforts to actually update this frequently, I apparently suck... So, to keep you occupied, here are some pictures of my cats:
<--- Why yes, I AM walking my cat on a leash/harness. On my car.

And in the second picture...

<---- my cat, in a shoebox sized plastic tote. He enjoys squeezing into as small of a spot as he can.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


As some of you may know, I LOVE cats... I first moved to college in 2005, and had to leave my cat behind. I've never really lived anywhere that I could have pets, so I went cat-less for quite some time, minus the one terror of a cat that my roommate had. And when I moved into my current place, I was told "no pets". Well, one day not too long ago I noticed that my neighbors had a cat and a dog... wtf? So I asked the landlord about it, got approved for kitties. Step 2, get the roommates approval. I was afraid to ask (I have a rejection issue...), so my wonderful boyfriend talked to all of them for me, seeing as they are his friends anyway. Well, the result was a yes, which led to me immediately driving to the pet store to adopt the kitties that I had been looking at for 2 weeks. Filled out the paperwork, and got approved that same night (boy am I glad the humane society works at 7 on a Saturday night!).

And here they are... My 2 adorable little boys -- little gray bookends :)

They don't know it yet, but they will be headed to the vet sometime soon for a check-up and a declaw (none of my roommates are fond of kitties clawing the furniture, or us for that matter!). But I've bought them LOTS of fun toys and some tasty treats -- probably spent more money on them lately than on myself!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...

Here is an article that I wrote for Associated Content about ways to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Here are some of the things that I will be doing to observe this month, as well as ideas on how you can do the same things.

Hand out pink ribbons:

It's cheap and easy to make pink ribbons for yourself, and extras that you can hand out to family members, coworkers, classmates, etc. All you need is a roll of pink ribbon (¼” or ½” works best), and a package of safety pins. Cut a 3” piece of the ribbon. Fold the ribbon so it makes a loop on the top, and the two tails cross each other in the middle of the ribbon. You can find detailed instructions here.

Hold a pink themed bake sale:

Bakes sales are a great fundraiser – everyone loves fresh baked cookies and brownies! Get together a group of friends or coworkers to make a few tasty baked treats, then offer them for sale at your office, on your campus, or outside a local store (many stores are willing to let you set up a table outside of the entrance if the proceeds are benefiting an organization. Try to make some of the baked goods pink themed – you can use pink frosting, pink sprinkles, or make ribbon shaped cookies. After the bake sale, donate the proceeds to breast cancer research.

Purchase items that benefit breast cancer awareness:

There are a few groups on my local college campus that design and sell shirts each year that benefit cancer awareness. I like to purchase and wear all of these shirts, and try to encourage friends and coworkers to do the same. There are also many products that you can purchase from grocery stores, etc that donate a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

Donate online:

I am also planning on making a direct donation online to support cancer research. The Susan G. Komen Foundation supports breast cancer research. The American Cancer Society supports cancer research of all types. I donate to the American Cancer Society, as well as participate in the Relay for Life, but which organization you donate to is entirely up to you. Visit each organizations website to read more.