Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

Outchanter
Posts: 669
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:40 am UTC

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Outchanter » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:30 am UTC

Galen wrote:
Delbin wrote:Minutiae is one of my favorite. Misc. small things.

I think all of you will like the book 'The Meaning of Liff' by Douglas Adams (et. al.) I found it once electronically, but I can't search for it since I'm at work. It's a collection of definitions made up by him and his bar buddies for words that should exist because they describe things everyone experiences. Offhand I remember a word for someone that washes all the dishes but the pan with the bacon grease and the word for the feeling you get when you sit on a chair warmed by someone else.


Found it: http://folk.uio.no/alied/TMoL.html


A lot of them are real place names. For example, the seaside town of Skegness now has the misfortune of sharing its name with "nose excreta of a malleable consistency". Presumably there was something about Skegness that Douglas Adams (et al) didn't like.

The sequel is The Deeper Meaning of Liff. I couldn't find it online on its own but this seems to be a combined list of words from both books.

LUTTON GOWTS (n) The opposite of green thumbs; the effortless
capacity to cause death of plants.

Also a village in Lincolnshire.

User avatar
enk
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:20 am UTC
Location: Aalborg, Denmark
Contact:

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby enk » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:39 am UTC

kellsbells wrote:Thank you so much for the Meaning of Liff link.


QFT. My favorite so far:

GREAT WAKERING (participial vb.)
Panic which sets in when you badly need to go to the lavatory and cannot make up your mind about what book or magazine to take with you.
phlip wrote:Ha HA! Recycled emacs jokes.

User avatar
dubsola
Posts: 2327
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:55 am UTC
Location: Sunny Snakeville

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby dubsola » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:43 am UTC

Outchanter wrote:A lot of them are real place names. For example, the seaside town of Skegness now has the misfortune of sharing its name with "nose excreta of a malleable consistency". Presumably there was something about Skegness that Douglas Adams (et al) didn't like.

They are all names of places in the United Kingdom.

dourcynic wrote:I'm fond of "pettifog" (to quibble; to practice chicanery of any sort)

Pettifog is one of my favourite words. Is it not "to quibble pointlessly"? Yes.

"Pettifogger" - incredibly appropriate to use to describe a business associate or client who clutters and extends meetings beyond all realm of human tolerance with pointless quibbling and interjections. Also, for that guy who always has to suggest an alternative route to a destination, which may or may not be faster or easier to take. Really annoying.

User avatar
felltir
has a sniper scope and a trigger finger.
Posts: 2493
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:01 pm UTC
Location: Back in't home town. Never at home.
Contact:

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby felltir » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:53 am UTC

dubsola wrote:They are all names of places in the United Kingdom.


MALIBU (n.)
The height by which the top of a wave exceeds the height to which you have rolled up your trousers.

MASSACHUSETTS (pl.n.)
Those items and particles which people who, after blowing their noses, are searching for when they look into their hankies.

MATCHING GREEN (adj.)
(Of neckties.) Any colour which Nigel Rees rejects as unsuitable for his trousers or jacket.

No they're not.
Spoiler:
RoadieRich wrote:He's a super flexible furry martial artist from London. She is a Rabbit breeding mad scientist from Michigan. They fight crime!
The Great Hippo wrote:I THINK THE SOLAR SYSTEM MIGHT BE AN ATOM OF OXYGEN.


Blog

he/him/his

User avatar
dubsola
Posts: 2327
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:55 am UTC
Location: Sunny Snakeville

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby dubsola » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:53 pm UTC

Whoops! Sorry. Was going by my hazy memory of the book.

User avatar
Galen
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:34 am UTC
Location: Korea

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Galen » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:37 pm UTC

Felltir wrote:
dubsola wrote:They are all names of places in the United Kingdom.

MATCHING GREEN (adj.)
(Of neckties.) Any colour which Nigel Rees rejects as unsuitable for his trousers or jacket.

No they're not.

Matching Green may or may not be in the UK.

But maybe I pettifog.
Jahoclave wrote:It's not a matter of practicality. It's a matter of sticking it to France. We should have the fastest damn train on the planet. It doesn't matter if it goes from Utah to nowhere.

User avatar
BrainMagMo
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:22 am UTC
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby BrainMagMo » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:56 am UTC

SkaBassist wrote:Yeah, this happened a few weeks ago. The word пошлость (roughly poshlost) is a word in Russian that's untranslatable, but some Russian guy wrote about it:

Boym wrote:This one word encompasses triviality, vulgarity, sexual promiscuity, and a lack of spirituality.


It describes a friend of mine absolutely perfectly.

I LOVE THAT WORD.
Especially since it sounds like a calque (another word I like, meaning roughly word/phrase translated in parts/word-for-word, e.g. Lehnübersetzung -> Loan translation).

It sounds like posh-lost, like you lost your posh =].

Account20151023
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:54 pm UTC

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby Account20151023 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

Skullduggery. I do think that sounds like crafty deception.

ADXCKGuy
Posts: 380
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:23 pm UTC
Location: Boston, MA, U.S.A., North America, Earth, Sol system, Orion Arm, Milky Way, Universe
Contact:

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby ADXCKGuy » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:30 am UTC

Galen wrote:I called the people who frequent these xkcd fora, "forasters".
My new favorite syllable saver.
I love it. I intend to start using that at local meetups.
sje46 wrote:Oh, antepenultimate! Why didn't I remember that?
Lethologica, duh. ;-)

dingle
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:25 am UTC

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby dingle » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:27 am UTC

Balthazar wrote:Cornobble (archaic): to hit with a fish.


Can anyone provide any reference for this being a real thing? The OED online says it isn't, and I can't find any reputable source. I heard it mentioned on the "Says You" podcast, and the host claims to have read it in a book, but I am dubious.

User avatar
jaap
Posts: 2094
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:06 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby jaap » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:05 am UTC

dingle wrote:
Balthazar wrote:Cornobble (archaic): to hit with a fish.


Can anyone provide any reference for this being a real thing? The OED online says it isn't, and I can't find any reputable source. I heard it mentioned on the "Says You" podcast, and the host claims to have read it in a book, but I am dubious.


I have not heard of the word before, but the results of my google-fu show that is was listed in:
A glossary of dialect & archaic words used in the County of Gloucester., Edited by Lord Henry Haughton Reynolds Moreton, published by the English dialect society, 1890
as
"CORNOBBLE. vb. To beat on the head. [Phelps.]"
Phelps refers to "Collecteana Gloucestriensia," by John Delafield Phelps, Esq., of Chavenage House, Dursley, published in 1842.

It was later included in:
Mrs. Byrne's dictionary of unusual, obscure, and preposterous words: gathered from numerous and diverse authoritative sources, 1974
as
"hit with a fist"

The website for this book (which no longer exists) apparently misquoted this definition as:
"hit with a fish"

This then spread like a meme to become its new meaning (tvtropes).

User avatar
krogoth
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia

Re: Words You Didn't Know That Describe Things Perfectly

Postby krogoth » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:11 am UTC

Since someone else rezed this anyway.

nomenclature: When people say some term where I know what they mean, but it seems odd. Someone said "schwarzschild mass" recently, while I worked it out not having proper tutelage in this area, it seemed a strange reduction of terms in itself. What strange nomenclature.

I want reductory to be a word too :/ but I have a strange speech pattern.
"it seemed a strange reductory term in itself."
R3sistance - I don't care at all for the ignorance spreading done by many and to the best of my abilities I try to correct this as much as I can, but I know and understand that even I can not be completely honest, truthful and factual all of the time.


Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests