Monday, 1 August 2011


"Wordplay"; is that a word, I wonder? Maybe I should have made two words of it - word play, but Blogger seems quite happy to accept the one-word version.

I came across a new word yesterday - nocivorous. I can spell it but pronunciation is a different matter. I don't know if the letter c is soft (nossivorous) or hard (nockivorous) and I have great difficulty with all those funny symbols in the disctionary - yes, and the dictionary as well - that are an attempt to explain the pronunciation. Anyway, it describes animals that eat nuts.

Which made me wonder. We have carnivorous animals and omnivorous, but how do we describe animals (such as cows, sheep, rabbits) that eat grass or other vegetable matter? "Vegetarian" seems somehow too anthropomorphic, but I know of no other word.

And still with words. I was a little upset over the weekend when I was on the receiving end of some bad manners. Of course, I didn't show that I was upset and I didn't react in any way. I just walked off muttering silently, 'ignorant **^%$)**'. Then another word just popped into my head in the way that words do when you least expect it. "Churl," I thought. Now there's a word. Just like it's cousin "boor", "churl" is a word we never hear used in the modern world. "Churlish" and "boorish" are both common enough, but the nouns are rarely, if ever, used. OK, perhaps "boor" is used a bit, but "churl"?

Anyway, I have decided that from now on my favourite insult will be to describe someone as an ignorant churl. It's such a delightful word. Somehow it sounds just what it is. It's not onomatopoeic (Onomatopoeic: I know what it means and I can pronounce it - but spelling it is a different matter! I had look it up.) but it sounds as though it is.

So here's to the next ignorant churl to cross my path!

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