WordSmithie 12th Podcast

Here is the 12th podcast for WordSmithie where you’ll find the fun word megrims!


Tohubohu Be Gone!

Yesterday, we had a delightful snowstorm. (How can anything that has ‘storm’ in the word be delightful??) The flakes were huge and gently floated down. As I looked out the window to the snow crested pine trees in our yard, it looked like a Christmas card scene. And, I was inside my snuggery, sipping hot cocoa, and doing some light reading – Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. This book will hopefully help me be less dilatory! (Check Feb. 19th’s post for the definition of this mighty fine word.)

Snuggery (snug-uh-ree) is a noun that means a snug, cozy place or a comfortable or cozy room. At 5:14 a.m. my bed is definitely a snuggery that I loathe to leave. During the sub-zero Arctic winter, my family room with a fire in the fireplace, a soft blanket to wrap up in, a good book to read, and a cup of hot chocolate is definitely a snuggery. To my nephews who enjoy Jeeping in Moab, Utah, sitting behind the wheel of a Jeep on a 4-wheel trail is a snuggery. (To me, the thousand foot drop off just inches away from where their tires are tends to counterbalance any snuggery feelings while inside said Jeep. . . .)

My next word is a fun word to say. And to use. It is tohubohu. We have the Hebrew language to thank for this great word. Tohubohu (toh-hoo-boh-hoo) is a noun that means chaos, disorder, and total confusion. Sounds like a teenager’s room, huh? A 5 year-old’s birthday party. Shopping at those pre-dawn Christmas specials where you get a PlayStation 2 for $49.99. Vicious tohubohu at those times. I’m speculating that bookstores like Barnes and Noble might have some midnight tohubohu at the release of the seventh Harry Potter book. Any place where there is confusion and chaos can be considered tohubohu.

Another fun word is jim-jams. Try saying THAT really fast ten times!! Jim-jams (jim-jamz) is a noun that is a slang term for the jitters. If you have to speak in front of a large audience, you could have the jim-jams. Over the week-end, one of my employees was going to ask his future father-in-law for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I dare say he probably had the jim-jams. I’ll have to check to see how he survived when he comes to work today. Sometimes during plays at a local theater, I get the jim-jams. (I’ve often wondered if it’s the restless leg syndrome. But I don’t think so.)

Another definition for jim-jams is the delirium tremens (involuntary tremors and visual hallucinations experienced by someone who is going through alcohol dependency withdrawals). I’m assuming it’s easy for people to know whether a person has the delirium tremens type of jim-jams or just a case of generally nervousness type of jim-jams.

If you eliminate tohubohu from your lives and from your home, you could create a delightful snuggery that would not cause anyone to have the jim-jams!

How Punctilious Are You?

My how times flies! It seems like I just finish my blog or podcast when it’s time to do it again! If I were punctilious, maybe time wouldn’t sneak by me so quickly.

Punctilious (puhngk-til-ee-uhs) is an adjective that means extremely attentive to small details of action or behavior. Have I been extremely attentive to the small details of my blogging behavior? Not quite . . . .

Punctilious. Mothers need to pay attention to TONS of small details – what their toddler is doing, if there are unsafe items within the toddler’s reach, if the toddler is hungry, sleepy, or has a wet diaper, if the baby’s sneeze is because its coming down with a cold. All of this while simultaneously cleaning the house, doing the laundry, paying the bills, and cooking supper. Being punctilious is an important part of motherhood. Hey, punctiliousness IS motherhood!

A doctor needs to be punctilious as he examines a patient. A tax accountant needs to be punctilious when filling out a tax return. A scientist needs to be punctilious when doing research. Tiny details and lots of them require lots of attention. Punctilious. There are myriads of things to be punctilious about.

Myriad is the next word. Myriad (mir-ee-uhd) is a noun that means a very great or indefinitely great number of persons or things. Sometimes women have a myriad assortment of shoes. Like Imelda Marcos (former First Lady of the Philippines). At one time she had over 4,000 pairs of shoes!!! I did a little math and if she wore only one pair of shoes a day it would take her almost 10 years to wear that many shoes just once! That’s definitely a myriad amount of shoes.

There is a myriad of people in facebook. Myriad??? Did I say a myriad of people in facebook? Silly me. There are over 15 million people on facebook. That’s like myriad to the 8th power! You get the idea just how much myriad is . . . .

The next word comes to us from Yiddish. It is kvetch and is pronounced just like it is spelled. It is a verb that means to chronically complain. A whiner, someone who expresses discontent, unhappiness, or displeasure all of the time. Know anybody like that?

If a person feels that they have a myriad of woes, they could kvetch a lot. If they are punctilious about all of their troubles and sorrows, most likely they REALLY likely to kvetch.

May all of your days be filled with a myriad of happy events so that you won’t feel like kvetching!

WordSmithie 11th Podcast

The 11th session of the WordSmithie podcast is now available. As I listened to it, my pronunciation of the first word seems rather muffled. Maybe I need to clean out my ear wax. Maybe I need to get a hearing aid. Maybe I need to learn how to speak better. . .

So, here is the spelling and how to pronounce the first word. Hoi polloi — hoi puhloi.

I hope this helps.  I promise to do better next time.


Ten inches of snow. Shoveled 2 double driveways. Shoved my car when it got stuck in the snow. Sore muscles. Am now thinking of my favorite place — Tahiti!!

I’ll be posting my podcast later this evening. . . . For now, I’ll just comfort myself with this picture of Moorea.  


Vocabulary Words d’Jour

I am a slacker. I feel I should be more productive. Doing more. Serving others more. Alas, I have been rather dilatory lately. (Lately??? Try the last 5 years . . . ) Since today is a holiday and I didn’t have to go to work, I’ve been spending some time trying to get things organized so that I can get on that ‘doing more’ cycle, and have the I’m-a-hamster-running-on-a-wheel feeling. Doesn’t that sound exciting? (My husband thinks I should have my head examined . . . )

Dilatory (dil-uh–tohr-ee) is an adjective that means tending to delay or procrastinate. Being slow or tardy. I have definitely delayed getting on top of things. I have procrastinated getting organized. I have definitely been slow and slothful. I’m trying to NOT be dilatory any more.

Children can be dilatory when it comes to cleaning their rooms. Business people under pressure can be dilatory (slow or tardy) at following through with some of their obligations if they feel they are overwhelmed and don’t have time. (If you’re one of those folks, you might want to read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. I overcame my dilatoriness and have started reading that book. Most interesting!)

This morning we got about 10 inches of snow in about 4 hours. After shoveling our double driveway and sidewalk, I went to my 80 year-old widowed mother’s home to shovel her snow. Because of the storm, I felt it was exigent that I help her with her snow removal. (She lives in a senior citizen community where that is supposed to be taken care of but somehow it doesn’t get taken care of very often.)

Exigent (ek-si-juhnt )is an adjective that means requiring immediate action or aid. Something is urgent or pressing. I felt that this situation called for immediate action. If I didn’t do it, she would try to do it herself. Lots of snow + little old lady = possible broken hip.

It was an amazing situation. It was almost snowing faster than I could shovel. I would get one section cleared and start on another one and the first section would have 4 inches of snow again!! My husband has wanted a 4-wheeler with a snow blade and I have been resistant. Today, I sing a different song . . .

Exigent. If you don’t have any clean clothes to wear to work, you might feel that it was exigent to do laundry. A business owner might feel exigent to get newly hired employees trained. If a neighborhood child is lost, everyone might feel exigent in searching for the child. When something is urgent, pressing, or in need of immediate aid or action, the situation is exigent.

It is exigent that I now share another word! Prescience ( pree-shuhns) is a noun that means knowledge of actions or events before they occur. It means having foresight. Mothers sometimes have prescience about what their children will do. When our oldest was in kindergarten and it snowed while he was in school, I had prescience that he would not be home at the normal time because he would play in the snow on his way home. (The first time it happened, I panicked. Prescience came later.)

Moms can also have prescience to take sunscreen with them when their families go Bear Lake or to Moab. (Kids – even if they are over 22 years old — sometimes think that they won’t get sunburned. Moms know better . . . ) Moms also have prescience to take lots of water, Band-Aids, and munchies!

I think I should have had prescience that with all of the shoveling I did today, tomorrow I will be stiff and sore. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow I won’t feel too exigent to move about in a lively manner.

A Thinking Place, A Thinker, An Excessive Talker

Last night, I happened to stumble upon a fascinating site on the Internet. The name of it intrigued me – and I decided I just HAD to share it here. The title was The Phrontistery. The URL is http://phrontistery.info.

The word phrontistery (fron-tus-tree) is a noun that means a place for thinking or studying or an establishment for study and learning. So, it literally means a thinking place. This could be a university. Or it could be a home. It could be a car. Anyplace where people think.

But I think that there should be a qualifier. As I drive in my car to work, I could be thinking about picking up groceries after work. Or that I need to do a search and rescue in my flowerbeds to rid them of the weeds. Or that I should have gotten more sleep. Not deep thinking.

If by some rare chance I’m thinking about the meaning of life as I drive to work, then my car is a phrontistery. Alas, I can’t recall when I last pondered about the meaning of life so my car is definitely out as a phrontistery!

The website states that it is a source for knowledge relating to language and social thought. I didn’t take much time to see what was there (it’s quite an extensive website!). I think I will peruse it in much the same way that I eat chocolate covered caramels – savoring it a bite at a time. One must spend one’s time thinking about what one reads, now mustn’t one? And, if one does, one is a phrontist.

A phrontist (fron-tist) is a person devoted to studious meditation. A deep thinker. Sometimes I delude myself into thinking I’m a deep thinker. Then reality hits and I realize just how ghastly shallow my thinking is. Sigh . . . . Maybe poking around The Phrontistery might help . . . maybe . . .

The website also mentioned the International House of Logorrhea which is an online dictionary of obscure and rare words. Logorrhea. Mmm . . . sounds like diarrhea. Since I wasn’t familiar with the word (logorrhea not diarrhea!), I trundled* over to my good friend, The Oxford English Dictionary. Logorrhea (law-guh-ree-uh) means an excessive flow of words. Wearisome volubility**. Yup. Verbal diarrhea.

Sometimes it refers to an excessive volubility that accompanies different forms of mental illness. Does that mean anybody who talks incessantly is mentally ill? That would mean a great majority of teenagers need psychiatric help!

I extend a call to everyone within the sound of the clicks of my keyboard to rise up and be a phrontist. Spend time thinking. Deep thinking. Stretch your little grey cells. Put them through rigorous mental calisthenics. If you do, you’ll probably be among the 2 percent of the world’s population who think***!

*Trundle (trun-dl) means to move or walk with a rolling gait. Those who are behemoth such as I tend to trundle a lot.
**Volubility. (Don’t you hate it when you look up the definition of a word and you don’t understand the words used in the definition??) Volubility (vol-yah-bil-ity means a ready and continuous flow of words or a talkative.
***Totally made up statistic. But is sure sounded good, huh?