of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
Agelast looks like it might be pronounced as a compound word: age-last. It is not, in fact, pronounced that way. It is pronounced ah-jih-lost. It is important for me to share with you that I am anything BUT an agelast.
If you've ever seen an ancient photograph, you will definitely see any number of agelasts. People tended to be pretty somber when they had their pictures taken a hundred years ago.
"Come on, girlie, smile for me!"
"No, I shan't do that!"
An agelast is a person who almost never smiles or laughs. They are also commonly referred to as "wet blankets," "sourpusses," and "party poopers."
I sometimes think people act like agelasts do so for attention. They want you to come up and ask them if they are OK so they can share their sad tales with you. It often backfires, however, and makes people want to avoid them.
This is not to say you should ALWAYS have a smile on your face. It is OK to be sad or angry sometimes. It just should not become a lifelong habit.
Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite phrases with you. It's called playing possum. That doesn't mean crawling on all fours and going through peoples trash cans. Neither does it mean carrying your babies on your back or standing in the middle of the street staring at oncoming cars.
I imagine you would be surprised if I were to tell you that you have very likely played possum yourself.
Would you like to know what it actually means?
Have you ever pretended to be asleep to fool your parents or pretending to be dead when you were playing with friends?
Possum "playing possum."
Many creatures play possum. It is a protective tactic that possums use so that predators will leave them alone. They pretend to be dead so other dangerous animals would leave them alone.
Cat "playing possum."
I used to play possum to make my parents think I was asleep. The reason I did that is that I could then get out my favorite book of the moment and read far past my bedtime. I spent most of my childhood sleepy in class because I wanted to read all the time!
For goodness sake, whatever you do, please, please, stay as far away as you can from snollygosters and snallygasters!!!
Both are harmful creatures that can mess up your life.
A snollygoster (snaw-lee-goss-ter) is someone who says one thing and then does the other. They are liars, swindlers, and simply cannot be trusted. They take many forms and you have to really think about what you tell them or how much you trust them.
They are out for themselves and their own gain.
taking the form of a concerned citizen.
An artistic rendering of a snallygaster.
A snallygaster (snah-lee-gas-ter), on the other hand, is a mythical creature, part bird, part reptile, that roams around at night preying on small animals. They are not real, but they are scary to think about.
This week's word means one thing that can be caused by both good and bad conditions.
Collywobbles (kah-lee-wah-bulls) is that feeling of butterflies in your stomach. The thing is, it can be caused by everything from love and infatuation to fear and nervousness. Anything that causes your stomach to feel nervous and fluttery will give you a case of collywobbles.
Sometimes you feel collywobbles without knowing why. This is a feeling of anxiety and you should always pay attention to it. It might be warning you of some danger.
I come down with terrible collywobbles when I have to speak in public or when I'm in a large crowd.
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."