by Joe Váradi
On the heels of last December’s warmly received and engaged-with inaugural edition, I’ll make this post a recurring tradition. Not on any particular schedule, but whenever I have enough for a new batch.
Which also makes this a call to action — in the future, if you come across new & interesting vocabulary on this site, please send me a note, in a private message or by commenting below. Help me crowd-source the next #WYHTM listicle!
I didn’t want to have to rank or pick favorites so I’m going alphabetically this time. Also, a disclaimer — not sure why I feel I need to say this — not all the words are English.
bream & budgie smuggler
Matt Querzoli leading us off with a twofer, and a dreamy head trip of a story that made me realize Matt is very Aussie …
bream — a broad category of freshwater and marine fish
budgie smuggler — Australian slang term for men’s tight-fitting Speedo-style swimwear. The ‘lump in the front’ apparently resembles a budgie …
ps: what’s a budgie you ask? look it up 😉
Spanish for wizard, sorcerer. From Stephen M. Tomic’s totally woke fairy tale:
Once Upon a Fairy Tale
Hazel scrubbed dishes every evening from 5 pm to midnight. It was dull, monotonous work. It helped if she imagined the…
Since I try to avoid self-help posts like the plague, it’s no surprise that I came across this term in a satirical piece, which I am more likely to click & read, by Kyrie Gray. Later I found that there are reams of how-to posts on bullet journals.
Two Can Keep a Secret (If One of Us is a Horse)
I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve gone through. Time and time again I’ve made the mistake of telling a girlfriend…
From Julia Belozersky’s fun and fashionable travel essay about a few days in Sydney.
My Jet Star flight landed in Sydney just as the day was heating up. Michelle was waiting in arrivals. Dressed in a…
From Tammy J Rizzo’s collection of grammatical bar jokes — chiasmus is a rhetorical or literary construct in which phrases or concepts are repeated in reverse order.
Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor
Sravani Saha taking out her recurring frustrations on bulbous vegetables.
cruciferous — denoting plants of the cabbage family, including cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
(of a pod or seed vessel, or of a cut or wound) to gape or burst open
Eden is not a garden it is humanity’s casket left unlatched, a reversed Pandora’s box as century after century climbs…
Mike Brennan, sorry that you suffered from this, but it prompted you to create an incredible body of work …
Why Did I Create Daily Art for Six Straight Years?
This is my six year anniversary of creating art every day. Never missed one.(Scroll down to see all six years of art…
april lavalle — thanks for sharing!
an irrational fear of vomit and vomiting
From Mike Essig — icy, frigid
… gelid distortions of a cold, miserly universe
From Michele Leavitt … a lot of brainy stuff here, from the Sapphic meter to why you should visit the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida, to a large order of insects comprising wasps, bees and ants known as hymenoptera.
Poetry in Form: Sapphics
Sapphics, as you might guess, are named for the ancient Greek poet Sappho. The form follows a strict metrical pattern…
The Japanese term that attempts to wrap up sense of purpose, reason for being, and joy of life — yeah, pretty ambitious. Spun into a writing prompt by Ryan Hussey at The Bigger Picture.
Writing Prompt #5: Ikigai
Purpose. I think about this concept often. Something tells me we all do, whether we’ve heard of ikigai or not. Our…
Maybe not a word, yet, technically, officially, but it is a pretty neologism that describes the pleasure of being alone, being left alone. From Giulia Listo’s poem:
From Hilal Isler's first-hand account of the captive princesses of Saudi Arabia. Quoting Wikipedia:
a composite material used in fine arts, crafts, and construction. It consists of a gypsum-based material in an acrylic resin
This article by Daniel Nester is from 2016 … popped up in my feed in April of 2018. But I love the word, I love the concept, and I think I’ll get some real mileage out of it when describing some of my favorite songs.
the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession
ps: I’ll give a shout-out here to Sara Bareilles, who uses this technique brilliantly in I Choose You (hint for the impatient: it starts at 0:52)
Behind the Original Cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Queen’s mega-hit has been interpreted countless times. But who did it first?
Thanks Mike Range — glad I read this piece to the last word.
Career Embezzler Couldn’t Ask For A Better Job
Hartford, CT — Having recently completed his sixteenth year of embezzling from his employer, management accountant…
If you are Catholic and thinking, how could this guy not have known this … I am not. But whether or not you are familiar with the lingo, this essay by The Couch Tamale (Tom Cendejas) is an insightful peek into Catholic same-sex schools:
I Taught Lady Birds. Here’s What They Taught Me.
Prior to the release of “Lady Bird”, if someone I’ve just met asked “What do you do?”, I tended to pause: How…
Benjamin Obler — pshaw! I’m still not convinced this is a real word, but whoa it’s in the dictionary?! AS IF …!
(interjection) used to express irritation, disapproval, contempt, or disbelief
also from Urban Dictionary:
a word used when you don’t know what else to say
How Writing Closed Captions Turned Me off TV For Good
Post-MFA, a writer spends time in the captioning trenches
From Jorge Q. broken — just read this
I come from blocks where dead boys look like me, they talk like me, broken quebrado, the thing that breaks in our…
German word for longing, pining, but in an eternally inexplicable, German kind of way. Thanks Jack.
Your Inconsolable Longing Has a Name — Sehnsucht
Everybody Feels It. Nobody Talks About It.
a mythical creature that resembles a seal in the water but assumes human form on land
I’m Just a Selkie Looking For a Good Man Who Won’t Hide My Sealskin
Hey there! Selkie here, looking for love. I’m just a normal half-mortal woman searching for a man who will love me and…
slough & hagfish
(especially when used in the same sentence)
From Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore — riffing on Gary Vaynerchuk …
sloughs off fatigue like a hagfish sloughs off freaky mutant goop
A triangular figure composed of ten points arranged neatly in rows — and also 20-syllable poetic form that appears to be quite popular as of late. I will call out two poets whose work caught my attention: Indira Reddy and Ashwini:
A Tetractys Trail by Indira Reddy, Johnronand, TeriJo, Paul Markle, Rahul Misra, Rachel Baxter, and (others to come….)
No, not that trump. Allow Sylvia Clare to explain:
a rather wet reverberating passing of wind anally. A giant fart, of the kind you don’t want to follow through on, or rather hope it won’t
When I grew up in UK a trump was what we called a rather wet reverberating passing of wind anally. A giant fart, of the…
via Anneyé Blanco — in a lovely, layered composition that shows off both her writing and her sketching skills …
… and a bonus, this is going way back to 2017 — I had it in mind but couldn’t find it when I was writing last year’s column (plus, the author was already represented):
Some kind of leafy shade-tolerant plant that you’d have to be a gardener to have heard of. More importantly, Meg weaved it into a chock-full-of-puns piece that is still one of the funniest things I’ve read on this site:
Thanks for your attention, we’ll meet back here in a few months!