I came across a Huffington Post article titled “66 Facts You May Not Have Known About the English Language” by Paul Anthony Jones. Since so much of my life has and does revolve around words, I investigated.
Caution: word geeks like me may not be able to resist reading through the whole list. I didn’t intend to read it all, but I couldn’t stop and was glad I didn’t. Interestingly, when I copied it into Word for this post, Word identified many of the words as spelling errors. Here’s a brief sample:
- The part of a wall between two windows is called the interfenestration.
- 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 opposite of déjà-vu is called jamais-vu: it describes the odd feeling that something very familiar is actually completely new.
- The bowl formed by cupping your hands together is called a gowpen.
- Happy is used three times more often in English than sad.
- A cumberground is an utterly useless person who literally serves no other purpose than to take up space.
- The paddywhack mentioned in the nursery rhyme "This Old Man" is a Victorian slang word for a severe beating.
Go here to have some wordfun.
© 2014 Ray Rhamey