of the Week
word or phrase to add to your army.
This word is, without a doubt, the most ridiculous word in the English language. Seriously! When you find out what hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia means, you will crack up laughing and probably roll on the floor.
You see, hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia means a fear of something. -phobia is a suffix that always indicates an irrational fear of whatever word comes before it. Acrophobia, for instance, means a fear of heights (as in acrobat).
So what is hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia? An unnatural fear of hippopotomuses* or hippopotomi*? A dreadful anxiety over monsters? A fitful restlessness about equipment or flowers? Ha! You aren't even close!
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is . . . wait for it . . . this is where the ridiculous part comes to light . . . a panic over long words. The craziness of this is that the word itself is 35 letters long. It is a LONG word. So those who are afflicted with this phobia can't even tell you what they are afflicted with because of their affliction of being afflicted with the affliction of long words.
Does this make any sense whatsoever to you? Me, neither! Whose insane idea was this?
Anyway, I hope that none of you suffer from the terrible fear of long words, or, that big long word that means fear of long words, hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia.
*hippopotomuses is the common plural of hippopotamus. Though it is of Latin origins, and those who are fussy about keeping true to the language would say hippopotomi, most use the much easier plural of hippopotomuses.
Thank you, Bryant Oden, for this brilliant
rendition about the Warrior Word of the Week!
Dearest, darling word warriors! My most sincere apologies for the tardiness of this new word of the week.
You see, I have been in the process of moving in with the person who gave me words—my mother. She has recently had a small stroke and briefly lost all of her words.
She is now relearning to read and I have moved in to aid her in her recovery.
This move is anything but nugatory (new-guh-tor-ee), especially for her. She needed help and I was more than happy to oblige*. Nugatory means insignificant, trivial, or unimportant. Since mom is delighted (most of the time) to have me there as assistance, that makes it not nugatory.
*Bonus word: oblige (uh-blije)—doing as someone wishes or asks in order to help or please them.
His efforts to lose weight by eating
only donuts were nugatory.
Sometimes when I start writing, I get carried away. Hours pass without me noticing. I find myself still banging on the keyboard in the dark, much like a troglodyte.
A troglodyte, you say? No . . . a troglodyte, I say.
What, you may ask, is a troglodyte? Well, I'm glad you asked. You did ask, didn't you?
OK, OK, fine, I'll get to it.
A troglodyte is someone or something that lives in a cave.
Cavemen, bears, bats, old West bank robbers, and writers who live with cats are examples of troglodytes.
But . . . it is interesting to note that there is a looser definition for the word troglodyte. It can also mean a hermit (someone who chooses to live along and rarely goes out) AND a person who is stubbornly ignorant or old-fashioned . . . kind of out of date.
So . . . if anyone every calls you a troglodyte, simply and calmly ask them, "Would you please clarify that. In what regard do you consider me a troglodyte?"
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."