May the Propitious Words Be With You

Two years ago I read a book that had a plethora of unfamiliar words.  Ocassionaly when I am feeling the need to learn a new word, I go back to that list of words.  This morning, I felt the need.

So I selected propitious. Propitious (pru-pish-uhs) is an adjective that means favorable, profitable, good and helpful, kindly or gracious. If you spend a few days at someone’s home, your host could be propitious — very kind, helpful, gracious and attending to your every need and wish.  (Mothers tend to be propitious to their families!)

You could have a propitious breeze (if you are a sailor) that helps you sail your boat.  Or a propitious season (if you play on a sports team) where you win lots of games that get you into the final competition.

As a business owner, you could say that the first quarter of the year was propitious for your sales meaning that your sales were profitable.  In today’s economy, not too many businesses are propitious — like the car manufacturers.  Maybe if they changed their business practices, things would be different for them.  Maybe.

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I Say Fulminate — My Brain Says Fumigate

Do you ever have one word that your brain connects to another word even though there is nothing whatsoever similar about the two words?  I have.  Fulminate and fumigate are like that to me.  Maybe that’s because they both start with the letter F.  Maybe that’s because they both end in ‘gate.’  Maybe it’s because my brain is feeble.  (That’s the most likely reason!)

Fulminate [fuhl-muh-neyt] is a word that means to explode with a loud noise, to issue denuniations, to issue or pronounce with vehement denunciation or condemnation.  When a child breaks a lamp or a china plate, his mother might fulminate (explode with a loud noise) in anger.  Or she might verbally condemn the child for being so clumsy.  A parent might fulminate when a teenage child comes home past curfew for the millionth time.  Or a husband might fulminate when the wife crashed the car.  (Do you see that the unifying theme is one of anger or frustration?  If you are happy in a situation, you will not fulminate anybody!)

So what is fumigate?  Fumigate [fyoo-mi-geyt] is a verb that means to to expose to smoke or fumes as when you disinfect or exterminate cockroaches, ants, termites, or other creepy crawly thingies from living in your home.  Sometimes professional exterminators will use a smoke bomb in your home to kill the undesirable critters.  Sometimes it is a chemical bomb.  That is where the ‘expose to smoke or fumes’ comes in.

So, these two words are not even somewhat similar in meaning.  (Unless you picture the angry fulminating person with smoke pouring out of his ears . . .)

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Be Not a Jobbernowl

Neglected: transitive verb meaning to pay little or no attention to. As in this blog.  Poor little step-child.

Preoccupied: adjective meaning completely engrossed in thought. Absorbed. As in I am preoccupied with my grandma blog thus neglecting this one. As in I-haven’t-posted-something-here-for over-two-months! I’m such a scalawag.

Grandma: noun meaning what I am.

Grandson: noun meaning the smartest, cutest, most wonderful little person in the world that causes Grandma (me) to be preoccupied with my grandmother blog thus neglecting this blog.

Feeling quite guilty, I will now share a great word with you.  That word is jobbernowl.

Jobbernowl (job-er-no-l)  is a noun that means a blockhead or a stupid fellow.  Sometimes I feel that I am a block head.  Like when I don’t make a post on this site for great lengths of time.  Like when I can’t remember if I’ve told my husband something and I tell him again.  Like when I can’t figure out how to make HTML play nicely within WordPress.

In the past, I have used the phrase ‘dough head’ when I have wanted to describe myself as someone who does something stupid.  Now that I know the word jobbernowl, I’ll have to use it instead. . . . while I try not to be such a jobbernowl . . .

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