Monday, January 12, 2009

Words That Sound Offensive, But Aren't

Mike is the king of using links as the basis of posts, so I thought I'd try it myself to save a little time this morning. I'm running late yet again, having spent too much time before my shower reading the wonderful novel Lima Nights, by Marie Arana, so I'll grasp at any straw to speed things along this morning.

I don't remember how I first stumbled upon the article 11 Words That Sound Offensive, But Aren't, but I haven't stopped laughing yet. It's interesting, but not to be read if you're prudish or easily offended. The words themselves are innocent enough, but the examples of their correct and incorrect usage in conversation are not...and are truly hysterical.

This is the list of words:

1. Shittah (nothing to do with outhouses, oddly enough.);

2. Prickmadam (the parenthetical definition is worse than anything else you might think.);

3. Titular (Agnes rolls her eyes when I spout one of my favorite phrases: "As the titular head of the house, I...");

4. Dickey Grind/Nasty Grind (no, it doesn't involve use of a pole and loud music.);

5. Cockchafer (one of the reasons I used to enjoy doing my radio show as opposed to being on television was that if I had an itch in an unfortunate place, I could scratch it any time. I didn't really write that. Just move on, folks, nothing to see here...);

6. Horehound (my grandmother's favorite candy was horehound drops...we always used to snicker about it.);

7. Cooter (not to be confused with singer Ry Cooder.);

8. Hand Organ (good if you're feeling cranky. So to speak.);

9. Uvula (having studied the physiology of sounds, I knew about this one, described in a classic Far Side cartoon as "the hangy-down thingy in your throat.");

10. Assagai (the joke that comes to mind would prevent me from ever being confirmed for a cabinet job, so I'll just pass, thank you very much.); and,

11. Niggard (excuse me while I look for an eleven-foot pole, because I wouldn't touch this with a ten-foot one. In years past, this innocent word usually appeared in its adverbial form niggardly, but its unfortunate similarity to the dreaded "n-word" has caused it to fall out of favor. Today it is used only by those with a death wish.).

Don't feel obligated to run out and use these in casual conversation. I can't be responsible for the reactions you might get.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Yes, those are definitely some words I won't be using any time soon...except maybe Uvula, because I doubt I'll find a shittah around here :(

Amanda said...

LOL!!! I. Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Maybe I could have used "titular" in my post today.

fiona said...

LOL I'm going to use them all!
Wonder if I can use all of them in one sentence...hmmmmm

Melissa B. said...

I've always loved using the word "titular." And Lake Titicaca, too!

Bilbo said...

Andrea - why not see if you can write me a letter that uses all eleven...? Hint, hint...

Amanda - yes, I love "titular," too. Did you see Melissa B's comment?

Fiona - if anyone can do that, Dear Heart, it's you.

Melissa - I forgot about Lake I won't be able to stop laughing all afternoon.

Mike said...

I've actually had my uvula worked on.

craziequeen said...

You are cordially invited to
A 'Hearts and Flowers' Party
from 8pm UK time
Friday 13 February 2009
until 12 midnight UK time
Sunday 15 February 2009
at the Palace of the Crazie One


GreenCanary said...

I think "dickey grind" should be an option for coffee beans. I'd drink that brew, for sure.

Blog Stalker said...

Great list. I think you still have to avoid using these words as the public in general would know no better than to assume you were using inappropriate verbage.

Have a great day!

Bilbo said...

Mike - give the name of the doctor to Fiona...about the only part of her body she doesn't complain about is her uvula.

CQ - I'll be there!

Canary - I think you may be stranger than I thought. No wonder I like you!

Blog Stalker - Discretion is my middle name. Well, not really, but you get the idea...

Zipcode said...

My redneck brother wanted to name his son Cooter lol