of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
When I say pulchritude (pull-krih-tood), it doesn't sound very beautiful. It sounds rough and stern and a little threatening. Pulchritude! But, guess what. That's exactly what it means. Beauty. If someone is beautiful, they are pulchritudinous (pull-krih-tood-in-us)—full of beauty.
Try an experiment. Tell your mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, or other family member or friend that they are pulchritudinous or full of pulchritude. See how they react. Then, be sure to tell them what it means. Otherwise, they might worry.
Also, the phrase "beauty is only skin deep" takes on a whole new sound when it is said, "pulchritude is only skin deep."
My pulchritudinous Munchkin cat, Mr. Bingley.
A rapscallion (rap-skal-lyun) is not a singing green onion. Not at all. Unless that singing green onion happens to like to pull pranks on people and cause all kinds of mischief, then it would be a rapscallion-ish rap scallion, though most scallions I know neither rap nor are rapscallions.
Next time you misbehave, apologize and tell your parent you are sorry you were such a rapscallion. Who knows? They might laugh and let you off for good vocabulary.
Captain Jack Sparrow is a well-known fictitious rapscallion.
In the summer, I love nothing more than going out into my garden and extirpating all of the weeds. Can you guess what this means? I'm sure you can.
To extirpate (ex-ter-pate) is to get rid of completely. I pull the weeds out by the roots so they don't grow back.
If you had cancer, you would want the surgeon to properly extirpate the tumor so it didn't grow back.
I am trying very hard to extirpate all bad words from my vocabulary.
Ambiguity (am-bih-gyoo-ih-tee) is indecisiveness, either in what you say or what you think. It is the lack of ability to say what you mean clearly or the inability to make a decision.
When you ask to go to a friend's party and your parent says, "Oh, gee, I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not," that is ambiguity. Sometimes they are just busy and can't make a choice to let you go or not and sometimes they really don't know if it's a good idea.
When your parent asks you if you want to go visit your grandmother, and you say, "Oh, gee, I'm not sure if that's something I really want to do right now," that is also ambiguity. Perhaps you don't really want to go but don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or maybe you really don't know whether or not you want to go because you're thinking about that person in your class who is really cute and said "hello" to you and the last thing on your mind is grandma.
Either way, they are both examples of ambiguity and what happens is neither of you know what's really going on in the other's mind. What you are feeling is ambiguous.
I am Becky Lyn Rickman. I am a writer because I love words almost as much as I love the people in my life. I want to fill the world with magnificent words and then jump in and splash around in them. I live with Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, my cats, but the only words they really love are "meat" and "gravy."