Joanna and Brad are asking about “connecting words,” and they don’t mean conjunctions like “and” or “but.” No, what they’re looking for are unique, or treasured words that we’ve found out and about in our daily travels, words that might not be common usage, or often heard, but which struck a chord for some reason.
Words are important to me; my husband and I used to play a game where one chose an obscure word from dictionary and offered a choice of definitions; the other had to choose the right one. My younger son once offered, as definition for Tagalog (indigenous language in the Philippines): that bit at the start of a television programme where they tell you what happened last time and what’s coming in this episode (and the opposite, therefore, of epilogue). I still think of them that way.
It’s family legend that my great grandmother carried diffidence to extremes. She had several expressions to denote very small quantities, I believe, but at one meal she was asked if she would care for some more roast beef. “Just a tentacle, dear,” she replied. We still use it in appropriate circumstances.
My mother-in-law was given to Malapropisms. When she was taking driving lessons she announced that she had put her foot on the “exhilarator”. She was very cross to be laughed at.
Growing up in
Here on the Northumberland coast in summer we can have beautiful weather. I love the way our garden basks in sunlight. Pity poor Berwick-on-Tweed, though. Just where the town boundary begins, a murky, yellowy-brown cloud can be observed. This is the famous local “haar”, a Norse word for mist, which must doom many afternoons on the wonderful golden beaches to damp and shivering misery.