Guaranteed to improve your English

English is Funny — And My Attempts to Confirm That

From Paul Anthony Jones, in the Huffington Post (although my wife found it on Facebook):

Fun with English, first the fact and then my attempt at humor:

1. The part of your back that you can’t quite reach to scratch is called the acnestis. It’s derived from the Greek word for “cheese-grater.” (The part of your teenaged face you don’t like is called “acne.” It’s from the Greek word for “can’t get a date.”)

2. A growlery is a place you like to retire to when you’re unwell or in a bad mood. It was coined by Charles Dickens in Bleak House (1853). And a growl is what you like to do when you’re unwell or in a bad mood — or if you’re a wild animal. Come to think of it, some of the characters in Bleak House are pretty wild.)

3. There was no word for the color orange in English until about 450 years ago. (Shakespeare trying to write a sonnet: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s orange?/Thou art more lovely and more … uh, never mind.)

4. Funk was originally a Tudor word for the stale smell of tobacco smoke. (Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls — you’ve got to be a certain age to get the reference.)

5.  In written English, only one letter in every 510 is a Q. (So why isn’t it worth as much in Scrabble?)

6.  Flabellation is a fan to cool something down. (And flagellation is a whip to heat you up!)

7. To jirble means “to spill a liquid while pouring it because your hands are shaking.” (To “gerbil” is to spill a furry rodent up some unintended orifice because your hands are shaking — perhaps because of flagellation?)

8. Aquabob is an old name for an icicle. (And aquaboob is either dumb water or a flotation device.)

9. Whipper-tooties are pointless misgivings or groundless excuses for not trying to do something. (And whipper-snappers are pointless noises made with two fingers for many pointless or groundless reasons.)

10. Porpoise literally means “pork-fish.” (As a verb, that’s kind of disgusting.)

I’m here all week. Tip your wait staff on your way out.

Until next time! Use the right words!


June 26, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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