Trivia Teaser

The first female star to receive an honorary Academy Award was WHO?

Judy Garland
Shirley Temple
Lillian Gish



By Miranda

Every now and then (recently, more 'then' than 'now'  ) I have time to consider my favourite words. Some I love for their sound, some for how they enable you to nail a specific meaning, some for memories of how one has used them, or of how some other speaker or writer has used them to great effect, and some because I just can't work out how they came to be in the language to start with, let alone have hung around in dictionaries for so long.

With respect, I can't imagine that referring to a weapon as a snickersnee is going to impress anyone. It may, according to Collins, be 'a knife for cutting or thrusting' but the word itself is faintly risible. Of course I'm not the first to notice this - WS Gilbert certainly did so in the lyrics to The Mikado.

Then there's frangible - a delightful word for the breakable or fragile. Take a note to use this adjective more often.

And given the rise in the number of small-party or independent candidates being elected (especially in Australia's Senate), let us embrace the mugwump. This is a US English borrowing describing those rejecting party politics. Unsurprisingly, despite their principled attacks on political patronage, in the end mugwumps didn't do too well in the political arena.

Which brings me to' silly'. It seems the height of silliness that this word, derived from an Old English word for happy, should have moved through meaning something worthy or blessed to today's absurdity.

More favourite words, please...

4417 Responses to


July 24, 2014 at 9:32 AM

All sparkles go to heaven (or so I've been told)......They run and play along the streets of gold......Why is heaven such a sparkle delight?......Why, because there's not a single frown in sight!......To Anne, with hugs and love from Peter.

July 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Anne, too, loved the song 'Friends Forever' I think this is our chance to say Goodbye.I love your rhyme, Peter, and I send my hugs and love too.(As much as I can see through the tears - it's good to have mates to cry with, Mary.)

July 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM

I love your little poem too Pete. I think it's coffee time now. Love and hugs to all xxx Veri code RGWFD Roger Wilco Friend

nan_j said:
July 24, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Loved your poem Pete.

July 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM

that's lovely pete,thankyou .will think of you jafa . hope all goes well.will think of anne next Tuesday ,thanks jell ...for last time time anne signing off with fir in saying roger wilcofriend. rip my friend.

jafa said:
July 26, 2014 at 1:58 PM

A reference to an old song in the next blog reminds me of Anne McArdle (aka penguin8). I think it is a fitting finish to this blog................................ You are my sunshine, my only sunshine; You make me happy when skies are grey; You never know, dear, how much I love you; Please don't take my sunshine away.

Rhino60 said:
July 26, 2014 at 5:52 PM