Are these people drumbling?
Can we spuddle? Queaching and gowling threaten to dwine. I am flatly embrangled by fluttersome feelings and a need to whingle and whine.
Since I’m on vacation this week, I decided to depart from my usual kitchen sink remarks and tell you about my latest hobby – collecting words, particularly obsolete ones that faded away long ago for whatever reason.
What got me going was a news item that crossed my desk last week on the new office slang making its ways into mainstream conversation. Words like “blamestorming” (when co-workers discuss why a project failed and who was responsible). Or how about “irritainment” (entertainment and media spectacles that are annoying but you can’t tear yourself away)?
I kind of like “Yuppie Food Coupons” (twenty dollar bills from an ATM) and “cube farm” (an office filled with cubicles).
Obviously, the world is changing at the speed of light and the English language is evolving at an frenzied pace, fueled by global computerization, terrorism, and relaxed mores.
As is usually the case, I’m more intrigued by the past than the present- or future for that matter. I’ve decided to invite a guest to bring back some of the delicious old words which I find more descriptive than modern equivalents. They just kind of roll off your tongue.
Author Charles Mackay in his little book “Lost Beauties of the English Language,” attempts a revival of terms, and I borrowed a few of his favorites.
“Drumble” is a great word – someone who performs a task without any idea of what he is doing – kind of like me checking my oil gage. I don’t know where it is or what I’m looking for but I get a feeling of power when I open the hood of my truck. I’m a first class drumbler in many situations.
And I get “carky” (fretfully anxious) when I’m drumbling. I also love to “spuddle” (go on about something as if it were tremendously important) like I’m doing with this column.
I admit it, I’ve been known to “smeke” (flatter people to their faces). I identify with “queachy” which means to shake or quiver and “gowl” which is synonymous with weaping with anger, as opposed to “girn” – to laugh with anger. I don’t recall ever gowling or girning.
I love “embranglement” which simply means a perplexing situation. Fluttersome meant quick or restless and “whingle” is a complaint.
Now aren’t these old words wonderfully descriptive? Time to get back to my drumbling – I’m trying to assemble an iron arbor for my garden with a pair of tweezers which will probably drive me to “girning.”