Friday, August 10, 2007

50 Days And 2 Words

Tonight marks 50 Days since my last cigar.

To observe this, for no reason whatsoever, I have developed a nasty cough.

Yeah. That seems fair.


I have decided there are two words that we have all deemed archaic that I would like returned to general useage.

The first is lollygag. This was a perfectly good word, fun to say and everything, which was cast aside around 1954 or so. It's a perfect dichotomy of a word: the latin-root lolly, which is international for lollypop (something pleasant) and the middle-upper-nigerian/venezuelan suffix gag, which is self-explainatory (something unpleasant).

Sample paragraph: "I say, refrain, you ruffians! Do not lollygag around at my storefront, blocking the path of any patrons who may wish to part with their sheckels and purchase my wares! Begone!"

The other is jackanapes. You can still find it in fresh use today, but only in historical fiction, typically set in the turn of the 19th to 20th century. Another one that makes you smile when you say it, fed to the wolves of change during a secret Merriam-Webster Meeting on the Oxford Campus in 1937. It comes from the cockney-adopted-by-the-wealthy-english-root jack, or man (with the modifier -an, to infer there is more here than meets the eye) and the lower-norwegian descriptor apes, meaning to ape around, apely, like an ape.

Sample Paragraph: "That man is an ungodly jackanapes, as was his father before him. Sweet Tapdancing Christ how I wish he would find someone else to bother! My patience runs thinner than your mother's bathtub gin, I daresay!"

Okay, I'm done. Back to work now.


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