Monday, February 28, 2011


guf-faw (g-fô)

1. A genuine from-the-heart burst of laughter.
Eugene, who never laughs - except at his own thoughts, let out an audible guffaw, when he overheard me explaining the delight of being able to surprise one's self with chocolate because of one's own tiny attention span. This made my day.

Synonyms: belly laugh, deep laugh, laughter, snort.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


mal-ad-y (ml-d)*

1. Something both hypochondriacs and drama queens suffer from constantly.
The only malady the old lady had not suffered from was a real one.
2. Something uncomfortable.
As Jean Baptiste Racine once said, "Without money, honour is nothing, but a malady."
3. A poor state of health.
Someone is always calling in sick with some form of malady or another.
I suffer from a combination of all the above.
My maladies are imagined, uncomfortable and often put me into a poor state of health.

Synonyms: affliction, ailment, bug, complaint, condition, disease, diseasedness, distemper, fever, flu, ill health, illness, indisposition, infirmity, plague, sickness, virus, unwellness.

*Similar to, but nothing like, m'lady. Your lady might be a malady, but mine is not.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


be-fud-dled (b-fdl'd)


1. Made ridiculous by alcoholic drink.
By two in the morning, the poor guy's mind was so befuddled that he opened the door and was half way through undressing before realizing he'd gone into the wrong bedroom.
2. The sense of bewilderment that arises from odd situations.
The worst part was the befuddled look on his friend's mother's face, when she turned on the light.

Synonyms: addled, baffled, bent, bewildered, bothered, confused, dazed, disoriented, dumbfounded, inebriated, mixed-up, puzzled, stupefied, unclear.

Friday, February 25, 2011


vul-ner-a-ble (vul′nərəbəl)


1. In a state of being easily wounded.
After telling him how she felt about him and spending the night trekking through the icy weather, she felt both vulnerable to heartache and vulnerable to catching a cold.
2. Easily and, possibly, very dramatically swayed, emotionally or psychologically.
Having spent so much time alone, in his cabin in the woods, pondering the various turns his life had taken, our hero was vulnerable to suggestion. His mother, a strange man on the street or anyone could tell him anything and he would internalize it, think about it long and hard, then change the course of his life accordingly.
3. Difficult to defend.
A castle in a valley would be as vulnerable to attack as the perceived masculinity of a man who readily shows his own vulnerability. Yet, some castles should be easier to attack. The confidence that a castle built in a valley must have in making itself so vulnerable to attack would have to come from something that can't be beaten out by force. And so, I will concede to praise Alanis Morissette's vulnerable man.

Synonyms:* accessible, assailable, chancy, defenseless, delicate, exposed, humble, insecure, liable, loaded, menaced, naked, precarious, ready,rosky, sensitive, shaky, speculative, sucker, susceptible, tender, thin-skinned, touchy, unguarded, unprotected, unsafe, unstable, weak, wide-open.

* Because being vulnerable is the topic of so much poetry I think the synonyms are basically interchangeable with the definitions. For instance, imagine the castle in the valley as naked and shaky.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


de-cor-ous (dkr-s OR d-kôrs, -kr-)


1. A Well Respected Man.
Aside from a few rowdies at the back, a decorous group of young people attended the Kinks concert.
2. Demonstrates an understanding and respect for social conventio
n and general appropriateness.
He found the evening very dull because she was so decorous that she seemed dull and overly conventional. Little did he know, she found her need to adhere to decorum (a word that is closely linked to decorous) almost imprisoning.

Synonyms: becoming, befitting, boring, civilized, comely, conforming, conventional, decent demure, dignified, formal, good, mannerly, meet, moral, polite, prim, proper, punctilious, refined, respectable, sedate, seemly, well-behaved.


ag-or-a-phob-ia (gr--fb-)


1. Irrational fear of unfamiliar settings or places. This fear is often closely connected to the fear of losing control, which could lead to embarrassment and anxiety or panic attacks. This condition may or may not be social in nature. Sometimes, this condition is linked with social anxiety disorder.
Famously, Kim Bassinger was afraid of wearing pretty things because people would look at her, then she would wear plain things and worry people weren't looking at her enough, and this lead to her agoraphobia.
I'm not suffering from agoraphobia; it's just really cold outside and I'm nervous.

Synonyms: afraid, anxious, paranoia.

Note: If you are good friends with an agoraphobic person, it's not nice to throw them surprise parties at nice restaurants they've never been to before. They don't like that sort of thing.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


gi-gan-tic (j-gntk)


1. Much larger than a thing is supposed to be.
We hardly ever spoke, but I had a gigantic crush on you.
2. Relating to or suggestive of a giant.
Look at those gigantic footprints! How can you look at gigantic footprints like that and not believe in giants?

Synonyms: ample, astronommical, Herculean, big, brobdingnagian, colossal, cyclopean, elephantine, enormous, excessive, gargantuan, ginormous, great, huge,
humungous, immense, jumbo, large, massive, mondo, monster, monsterous, prodigious, stupendous, super, super-colossal (if colossal isn't big enough for you), tremendous, vast, very big, very large, whopping

1. The name of one of my favorite songs.
Gigantic, gigantic, gigantic...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


am-i- gu-ru-mi [(編みぐるみ) Sorry, this is the best I could do, since I am discovering this word just now from a foreign language. It's Japanese.]

1. The Japanese art of knitting small animals or anthropomorphic creatures, which are valued for their cuteness.
Holly has hobbies, like amigurumi, record collecting, and making fresh fruit into jam.
Synonyms: crafting, knitting.

2. The cute, but otherwise useless creatures created through the aforementioned art form.
Holly has hobbies, like swing dancing, collecting arigurumi, and changing the oil on her van.

Synonyms: creature, toy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


ba-by ()

1. Diminutive or small, the smallest i
n a group.
My baby toe is crooked and deformed, after years of trying to fit my wide feet into tiny shoes.

Synonyms: childish, little, mini, petite, sissy, small, tiny, wee.

2. Extremely young, especially in appearance or behaviour.
Shih Tzus are such pretty baby dogs; they stay puppies forever.

Synonyms: cute, puerile, sweet.


1. An extremely young human being, who is dependent on older human beings (usually their parents) for the fulfillment of all of his or her basic needs.
2. The direct consequence of sexual intercourse.
Being cute is a baby's number one basic survival technique; why else would we continue to feed them?

Synonyms: anklebiter, angelface, babe, bairn bambino, brat, bundle of joy, buttercup, button, cherub, chick, crawler, dickens, dumpling
, imp, infant, innocent, kid, kiddie, lamb, little one, miniature clone of one's self, mite, moppet, newborn, nipper, nursling, papoose, preemie, progeny, small fry, sprout, squirt, sweet pea, sweetie, sweetest little thing, suckling, tad, tadpole, toddler, tyke, whippersnapper, write off, youngster.

3. The youngest in a group.
My parents kept having children, until they had a boy, and my brother is still the baby of the family.

Synonyms: brat.

4. Someone who acts like an infant or is very needy.
T.V. husbands are big babies; it's like they wouldn't survive half a day on their own.

Synonyms: faint-of-heart, gutless, high-maintenance, lily liver, shirker, weakling, wimp, wuss.

5. An exclamation, usually during sexual intercourse.
Oh, baby!

Synonyms: oh God, yes.

1. To treat with great care or act like a loving parent towards.
Maybe T.V. husbands wouldn't be such wimps, if their wives didn't baby them all the time. It's like all T.V. families are based on somewhat entertaining codependent relationships.

Synonyms: cater to, cherish, coddle, dote upon, fret over, indulge, mollycoddle, overindulge, obsess about, pamper, serve, spoil.

1. A term of endearment, a casual form of address for a loved one, especially in popular music.*
The number of songs that I could list as examples here is endless, so I will settle for Chris Isaak's Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing and Cat Steven's Wild World.

Synonyms: beau, better half, boyfriend, darling, dear, dearest, fiancé, flame, girlfriend, heart, honey, honeybunch, inmorato, love, love of my life, lover, object of affection, pet, prize, significant other, steady, sugar, sweet, sweetheart, sweetie, tootsie, treasure.

2. When it comes to slang, a baby can be any person or thing. I am not going to even attempt to list synonyms here.
This baby goes 185 miles per hour!
This project is my baby.

*Add this word to the end of any sentence and you will have yourself a song lyric, Baby!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


ca-thar-tic (k-thärtk)

1. Providing emotional relief.
Today, Michael Rosen posited that: "
Writing is essentially textualised thought" [sic]. Meanwhile, my sister suggested that writing is cathartic; it lets her get all of her pent up emotions out and onto the page.*

Synonyms: bitching, cleansing, relaxing, soothing, venting.

2. Providing digestive relief by cleansing the bowels, like a laxative.
I never take more than one shot of espresso in my lattes. It upsets my stomach. Espresso is too cathartic.

Synonyms: abstergent,
aperient, eliminatory, evacuant, evacuative, excretory, expulsive, laxative, purgative.

1. The thing that causes the aforementioned kinds of relief.
Hellosaferide's Long Lost Pen Pal was her emotional cathartic as a young woman.
Also, see image on right.

Synonyms: many of the same words listed above (believe it or not, I really don't like talking about poop).

*As a method of writing, this is known to produce the worst kind of poetry (no offense intended toward my sister).

Friday, February 18, 2011


la-ment (l-mnt)
1. To regret, sorrowfully.
2. To express such regret and sorrow.
Although she was smiling on the outside, she inwardly lamented the events of that morning. If she hadn't mentioned the cheese, he probably wouldn't have got so angry and it wouldn't have turned into such a heated argument, but there was nothing she could do about it now.
He lamented the loss of his friend so loudly and so often that the whole neighborhood knew about it.

Synonyms: bawl; bemoan; complain; moan; pule; regret; sulk; whine.

1. A tangible or intangible expression of regret and sorrow. Tangibly, these usually take some sort of rhyming form, like a song or a lengthy poem. Intangibly, it might be like that invisible burden one carries with them everywhere they go, so that it effects their posture and eventually bending their back until they look like a lamentable old character.
Gone was the joy
behind her eyes.
All her smiles
turned into lies.
She regretted
Each breath, a sad
song she would sing.
John Lennon's lament: "Although I laugh and I act like a clown. Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown."

Synonyms: dirge; emo poetry or really any kind of emo art at all; requiem; the song "Loser," by the Beatles or any song by that name by any band should qualify as a lament; sorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


ac-ri-mo-ni-ous (kr-mn-s)

1. From the root word, acrid, meaning a pungently bad taste or smell. Acrimonious refers more to feelings than tastes or smells, but has the same tone.
  1. Where the fuck is that acrid stench coming from? Did you even bother taking a shower today, dude?
  2. No, you forgot to take the garbage out. I can't believe you thought it was ME!
  1. Well, sometimes, you do stink.
  2. At least, I'm not an acrimonious ass-wipe!
Synonyms: belligerent, bitchy, bitter, crusty, evil, harsh, hateful, intense, misanthropic, sardonic, tempestuous, unsparing, vicious.