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Nov 24, 2019
This week’s theme
Words to describe people

This week’s words

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AWADmail Issue 908

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

Sponsor’s Message: We’ve finally become our own worst nightmare: a sell-out. Large anonymous corporation gets wind of One Up! -- The Wicked/Smart Word Game and wants to license it worldwide. We say sure, why not? Creativity, principles, artistic integrity, success on our own terms? Right out the window at the first sign of cash we’re happy to say. Seriously, we’re offering all AWADers, including Email of the Week winner, Kathryn Freeman (see below), 50% OFF our Special Dark Edition, while supplies last. Once this limited and lovely version of our best-selling cutthroat IQ contest is gone, it’s gone forever. So, smarten up (on the cheap) RIGHT AWAY >

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the Net

Trump’s White Whale
The New York Times [A warm welcome to all the new readers who joined from following this article.]

Why You Might Be Counting in the Wrong Language

From: Nikki Frittmann (n.frittmann orcon.net.nz)
Subject: Gongoozle

Your Introduction to today’s word -- that unique people should be described by unique words -- reminds me of a friend who describes what we commonly call “disability” as “having unique function”.

As a uniquely functioning human being myself, I am sometimes gongoozled at, but that’s life, when you’re unique!

Nikki Frittmann, Auckland, New Zealand

From: Nickolas Hein (nickolas.hein gmail.com)
Subject: Another word for gongoozler, more specific

About 40 years ago, when I was hang gliding in the Seattle area, we regularly referred to the voyeuristic spectators in the landing zone as wuffos. It’s a contraction of the question we were most commonly asked: “What for (wuffo) do you want to risk breaking your neck like that?” The answer, of course, only makes sense if you’ve flown.

Nick Hein, Madison, Wisconsin

From: Vas Vasiliadis (vvasiliadis gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--gongoozler

I should’ve known there’s a perfect word to describe the seven city workers who stand around a hole looking down while one guy is digging away!

Vas Vasiliadis, Glenview, Illinois

From: Bob Worsley (bob.worsley gmail.com)
Subject: Gongoozler

In Australia, a sticky beaker, with a nod to Cockney rhyming slang. Having a sticky-beak -- a peek.

Bob Worsley, Brisbane, Australia

Email of the Week brought to you by One Up! -- Play mind games on the cheap NOW >

Kathryn Freeman's dog on being greeted with “Hail, fellow! Well met!”
From: Kathryn Freeman (kfreeman861 gmail.com)
Subject: Hail fellow, well met!

You wrote: “Here’s your challenge for today. Greet the next person you see with a “Hail, fellow! Well met!” Don’t explain unless asked. Report results to us at words@wordsmith.org.”

My dog, Captain Falcon, found it fascinating to be greeted thus. That blur is his tail.

Kathryn Freeman, Miami, Florida

From: Patrick Gary (pwgary hotmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hail-fellow

I was amused at this one. I gave a “Hail fellow well met” to a coworker who stopped for a second and then went “Hail Hydra?”

Patrick Gary, Dallas, Texas

From: Anthony Cernera (aacernera geisinger.edu)
Subject: Because...

... I’m the type of person who actually does this kind of thing. I tried “Hail, fellow! Well met!” three times today. The first got a chuckle and a headshake, the second got a furrowed brow and I got too embarrassed to complain, and the third asked what I meant and when I tried to explain got cut off with, “I’m sorry I don’t have time for this.”

Anthony A. Cernera, Danville, Pennsylvania

From: Pam Day (pamgailday gmail.com)
Subject: Hail, fellow! Well met! - Response

Me: “Hail, fellow! Well met!”
Friend: “What ho! Bless thy house!”

Pam Day, Somerville, New Jersey

From: Bob Leeds (bobleeds gmail.com)
Subject: Hail fellow, well met

A co-worker walked into the office, a few minutes late. She was already out of sorts for her tardiness. I greeted her with “Hail fellow, well met.” She greeted me with a gaze that withered my intestines.

This exercise was a lot less fun than I had anticipated.

Bob Leeds, Brooklyn, New York

From: Jim Kacian (jim.kacian comcast.net)
Subject: Hail fellow well met

I greeted my partner of 30 years with “Hail fellow well met” today. She stared at me a couple of seconds, then said “Hey!” So, I guess this was no more ridiculous than my usual behavior, as she sees it.

Jim Kacian, Winchester, Virginia

From: Pam Day (pamgailday gmail.com)
Subject: “Hail, fellow! Well met!” Reaction

Me (via IM): “Hail, fellow! Well met!”
Husband (also a Wordsmith junkie who had obviously not read today’s installment): “HEY HEY~ what be dat?”

Pam Day, Bridgewater, New Jersey

From: Donna Wells (donnacoxwells gmail.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--hail-fellow

My understanding of this saying is that the “hail fellow-well met” is a phony, like a back-slapping politician, who just wants to get votes.

BTW, if I said “Hail fellow! Well met!” no one would be surprised. I talk like that. I’ll bet that many of your followers do.

Donna Cox Wells, Tarzana, California

From: Kehla West (kehlawest gmail.com)
Subject: Hail, and well met!

I had to chuckle at the suggestion that we use this and report back, because “Hail, and well met!” or “Hail, fellow!” are very standard greetings in Dungeons & Dragons. I think folks who enjoy D&D must be more in tune with the arcane!

Kehla West, Tinley Park, Illinois

From: John D. Laskowski (john.laskowski mothman.org)
Subject: connoisseur

I have such eclectic eating habits that friends refer to me as a “common sewer” of food!

John D. Laskowski, Carsonville, Pennsylvania

From: Bill Schaefer (bcs640 msn.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--connoisseur

Bit of trivia: connoisseur is the most used word in the history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Bill Schaefer, Denver, Colorado

From: Joyce Michel (jhexagon yahoo.com)
Subject: connoisseur

“Connoisseur” was my downfall in the middle school spelling bee. My teacher said he thought I’d get it right since I was taking French. Now I see that its spelling agrees with neither Old nor Modern French!

Joyce Michel, Hopkinton, Massachusetts

From: Robert A. Rushton (reloquent gmail.com)
Subject: Connoisseur vs. Cognoscente

Today’s word, connoisseur, made me think about the difference between it and a very similar word, cognoscente, Both words imply knowledge of a field. But as I understand it, a connoisseur is someone who is valued for his taste and opinion, where a cognoscente is someone who is valued for the depth and breadth of his knowledge. These words took slightly different paths from the Latin cognoscere to English, and that variation allows us to express subtle differences in meaning.

Robert A. Rushton, Brookline, New Hampshire

From: Brenda J. Gannam (gannamconsulting earthlink.net)
Subject: gangrel

At 6+ ft, and thin enough, I have been treated over the years to every related epithet, among the more colorful of which:
Long Tall Sally
Jolly Green Giant
String Bean
Spaghetti Woman
Space Needle

So, I guess I qualify as a gangrel! However, in keeping with today’s gender- and sex-correct nomenclature, I propose that female gangrels henceforth be called gangirls.

Brenda J. Gannam, Brooklyn, New York

From: Ana Ross (via website comments)
Subject: Work saves us from ...

Work saves us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and need. -Voltaire, philosopher (21 Nov 1694-1778)

ATFT is a very particular way of being in the world; for example, most indigenous people before colonization could meet their needs with 15 hrs of work per week, whereas 40 hrs seems typical for us; vice was not any more of a problem than with Europeans; and most native people probably wouldn’t have understood the meaning of the word boredom. Lest anyone think they lived in poverty and misery, here is a fun fact: For the first hundred years or so of the colonization of North America, Europeans abandoning villages and going to live with the natives was so common that they had to pass a law making it a capital offense. And during our entire history of war with natives, many children were adopted by the other side after the wars out of compassion, while many white children who were found living with the natives chose to remain with the Indians when asked and ran away if taken by force. To my knowledge there is not a single recorded case in 300 years of a native choosing to stay with Europeans if given the opportunity to return to their tribe.

Ana Ross, Honolulu, Hawaii

From: Davide Migliaccio (dcmiglia gmail.com)
Subject: Vulgarian

Today’s word immediately brings to mind the late, lamented Spy magazine’s immortal description of the current occupant of the White House: “the short-fingered vulgarian”. Spy was founded by Graydon Carter, later Vanity Fair’s editor, and radio host Kurt Andersen, and was fearless in its criticism of the later-to-be-president.

Davide C. Migliaccio, Colorado Springs, Colorado

From: Charles Peek (cpeek.cp gmail.com)
Subject: vulgarians

Really, you should pick words that apply to ordinary people. We know there can be only a few vulgarians left among us since we’ve locked up most of them in the White House!

Charles Peek, Kearney, Nebraska

From: Alexandra Baer (alexlittlebaer aol.com)
Subject: Vulgarians

Interestingly enough, in the Shawangunk cliffs in the Hudson Valley of New York (an area better known as “the Gunks”), there was a rock-climbing group that was famously called the Vulgarians! Among many raucous activities, they climbed naked, drank copious amounts of alcohol, and climbed very hard climbs, many well into their 80s. There are still some with us here that continue the Vulgarian tradition.

Alexandra Baer, New Paltz, New York

From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Connoisseur and gangrel

Setting: London, UK. A Tate Modern members-only preview of the upcoming post-WWII-era British sculpture survey show, featuring the works of Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Reg Butler, Anthony Caro, Lynn Chadwick, Bernard Meadows, et al. Our nattily turned out gent rather fancies himself as a bit of an art connoisseur, with an especial appreciation and discerning eye for modernist sculpture. In this somewhat awkward scenario, our self-ascribed art expert has misappropriated the free-form abstract piece on the left as a Henry Moore work, when in point of fact, it’s a Barbara Hepworth creation. The sculpture next to it, is a Henry Moore. Frankly, one could excuse our “connoisseur” for mis-ID-ing a Hepworth for a Moore (or vice-versa), since many of their abstracted sculptural forms closely echo one another’s. In fact, amongst art critics of the day, there was an ongoing debate as to who first “discovered” the “hole” or “void” in modern sculpture... Henry Moore or Dame Barbara Hepworth, since both eminent Brit sculptors appeared to incorporate the “hole/void” into their sculpted works around the same point in time.

“Flaco”... en español, translates as “skinny” in English. Here I’ve portrayed the quintessential “gangrel” (mucho flaco), Miguel Cervantes’s legendary knight-errant, Don Quixote, and his portly (“gordo”, en español) squire/sidekick, Sancho Panza... a real Mutt & Jeff duo. Head-in-the-clouds, delusional Don Quixote rides high in the saddle, a testament to his bean-pole-like stature. One can sense the depth of frustration in Panza’s retort, having, at this point in their illusory quest, about had his fill of attacking windmills. In Quixote’s addled mind, windmills morph into gargantuan, threatening monsters... to be vanquished. Indeed, The Man of La Mancha and his trusty companion were acting out “the impossible dream”. Ultimately, the faux knight came to his senses... so the epic tale goes.
Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Anagrams of this week’s words

Words to describe people:
1. gongoozler
2. hail-fellow
3. connoisseur
4. gangrel
5. vulgarian
1. one who gazes over canals (Google)
2. willing pal
3. epicure
4. drifter, or long son
5. rude slob
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com)

From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Limericks

All morning she tried to peruse her
Funk and Wagnalls to find this “gongoozler”.
But whaddaya know
It never did show!
She thinks Anu is just a bamboozler!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

He denies stealing lettuce and kale.
To the farmer, says P. Cottontail,
“I was just a gongoozler!”
In truth, this bamboozler
is guilty. Will justice prevail?
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A man ogling girls is a loser
And a veritable gongoozler.
Epstein sure was one,
And now he is done.
We’re rid of a pedophile cruiser.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

Gongoozlers who gather to gawk
Can get in my way when I walk.
They stand and they stare;
I wish they weren’t there --
They slow down my pace in New Yawk.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Look, a crash! He thought it would amuse her
because he was an avid gongoozler,
but the sight made her sick.
She said, “Take me home quick.
and don’t call again, Rick: You’re a loser.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“In wartime I’ll be a gongoozler,
So I live to become a bamboozler,”
Said young Trump. “Let Hanoi
Some downed pilot annoy,
While I find a porn star and canoodle her.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Miss Muffet confided, “Oh, hey --
I met a new spider today.
Though he seemed a hail-fellow,
I couldn’t quite tell, so
I feigned being frightened away!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A young man, oh-so-mild and so mellow,
Was considered a very hail-fellow.
Truth be told, though, each night
He took much great delight,
‘Cause he ran such a skanky bordello.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

He’d won over the girl on his arm
With a bit of his hail-fellow charm.
But his fingers perverse,
made her deeply averse
to his blarney -- she raised an alarm.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

A hail fellow whom once I met
Was someone I’ll not soon forget.
The life of the party,
This guy was named Artie --
I loved when he played clarinet.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

His skin was described as pale yellow,
And his mood, when he drank his ale, mellow.
Although he was chubby,
She made him her hubby,
For he really was quite a hail-fellow.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

“Though Roderigo is quite a hail-fellow,
He’s as white as a ghost or marshmallow.”
Desdemona explained,
“With them, pleasure is feigned
Once you’ve been with a guy like Othello.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Famed chef weds cuisine connoisseur!
“Bad news!” hapless diners concur.
“Now you never know when you
might find on your menu
price hikes by Madame and Monsieur!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Each winery that we would tour
Would feature a wine connoisseur.
I didn’t think twice,
Just took their advice,
And got a bit tipsy for sure.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Don Juan was a lusty connoisseur,
And with ladies a passionate wooer.
But, as he grew older,
His ardor drew colder,
So that conquests became a lot fewer.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Trixie, “You work in the sewer,”
But Ed Norton still thought he could woo her.
“I will take frequent showers,”
He said, “and bring flowers,
If, dear, you’re a smell connoisseur.”
-Janice Power, Cleveland, Ohio (jpmarlin456 gmail.com)

“Of mice I’m a true connoisseur,”
Said my Cleo one day with a purr.
“The white lab ones are strange,
I like grey and free-range;
They taste fresher, it’s no racial slur.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A tall, lanky girl, her main goal
was to take the obese diva’s role.
Though ‘tis true that she sang well,
alas, the poor gangrel,
when padded, resembled a troll!
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

He didn’t aim “to make the grade”;
Close to the TV and fridge he stayed.
He lolled at his ease,
Himself he could please:
A gangrel who lived on parental aid.
-Marcia Sinclair, Newmarket, Canada (marciasinclair rogers.com)

A gangrel who came to my door
Sold subscriptions, the same as before.
“Hail fellow”, said I,
“I never will buy,
“So please don’t come here anymore.”
-Sara Hutchinson, New Castle, Delaware (sarahutch2003 yahoo.com)

A gangrel with low body mass
Could skillfully shoot and could pass.
He played like a dream
And made the fans scream.
Our team, thanks to him, was first class.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

The soprano was skinny, a gangrel,
and she knew that her gown didn’t hang well,
but she sang like a bird
and the “Bravos!” she heard
made her smile and think, at least I sang well.
-Zelda Dvoretzky, Haifa, Israel (zeldahaifa gmail.com)

“Though his AWAD pay leaves him a gangrel,”
Said the girl who loved puns, “I would bang Phil.
My loins are quite stirred
By his play on each word;
But the limerick writers, I’d strangle.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Once I owned a small shop antiquarian.
I confess that sometimes you’d see nary an
Occupant in the store,
Which is when Bindy swore
Like a downright longshoreman vulgarian!
-Bindy Bitterman, Chicago, Illinois (bindy eurekaevanston.com)

“I’m aware,” says the young antiquarian,
“that he is a boor, a vulgarian.
But before very long
he will sing his swan song.
I married a nonagenarian!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

Vulgarian behavior is bold,
And quite rapidly it becomes old.
I’ll happily tell you
What a person might do.
The offender should simply be told.
-Lois Mowat, Orinda, California (lmowat1810 gmail.com)

It’s time to impeach that vulgarian!
I don’t understand why we’re tarryin’.
The man is so crass;
I don’t “love his ass.”
Let’s boot out the septuagenarian!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“Harold Hill? The man’s such a vulgarian,”
Scoffed the town’s prim and proper librarian.
“Yet although he’s a fake
It’s for him that I ache.”
“Sounds like Catch-22,” said Yossarian.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

From: Phil Graham (pgraham1946 cox.net)
Subject: Puns to deride people

Take your slogan and be gongoozler!

During the storm hail fellow-ver the entire state.

Connoisseur be made to smell nice?

They expect the whole gangrel come to the mission for Thanksgiving.

“The bus is now boarding for Louis vulgarian Chicago.”

Phil Graham, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Do we need weapons to fight wars? Or do we need wars to create markets for weapons? -Arundhati Roy, author (b. 24 Nov 1961)

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