Tag Archives: words

Not OK

I’ve seen this acronym on the Internet from time to time:





I had a pretty good idea what it was all about from the context, but Google just provided its literal meaning:  “Not For Showing Wife.”

That’s just wrong.

And it’s being thrown around all the time in conversation — casually, with a wink and a smile.

Shame on all of us.


I learned a new word today…or, I should say, new to me:


As soon as I heard the word in conversation with a friend, I Googled it…and realized it was not just a word, but a phenomenon.


Hangry, simply stated, is that spirit-sucking irritability that results from being hungry.  I experienced it today when I had too many errands to run and not enough time to eat.

While I am all-too familiar with the feeling, I had never had the perfect word to describe it.

Until now.

So I am no longer hangry; instead, I’m simply happy.  ‘Cause the right word can do that for ya.

2day’s post


I just learned that OMG isn’t an acronym at all.

NASA is an acronym. FEDEX is an acronym.  The so five-minutes ago and poorly performing Windows VISTA is, too.

But OMG, HTML, and even university initials like BU or UK are not.

What’s the difference?

A group of letters is only an acronym when the the initials are pronounced together as one word.  If they are said letter by letter, like URL, the group of letters is considered an initialism.

Who knew?

I certainly didn’t until this morning, when the random fact was passed along to me via that great center of learning, Twitter.  And I simply had to share.

There.  Now go enjoy your holiday.  You’ve worked your brain hard enough.



I’m trying out a new curse word…

Matthew Crawley used it on the season finale of Downton Abbey Sunday night.  When Lord Grantham recommended he dance with O’Brien at the Servants’ Ball, it slipped out while he clutched his whiskey.

Can’t blame the guy.

I’ve heard the word before and immediately wondered if it was true to the time period. (Downton Abbey has been dinged for using too-modern slang.)

So I looked it up.

Turns out the first written usage of ‘crikey’ dates back to 1838, and the first spoken use predates even that.  It’s meant to replace ‘Christ’ or ‘For Christ’s sake!’  Today Australia has taken the word as its own; you’ll find it all over Aussie TV and souvenirs.

But I prefer to think of it as a Downton Abbey reference.  So expect a few crikeys here and there on upcoming Eggs. It’s fun to say, a conversation starter…

…and PBS-approved.



Yesterday a friend’s status on Facebook proudly trumpeted:

Snap, ya’ll — It’s Friday!

Snap yea!

I love the word ‘snap.’  I love the way it sounds.  I love the attitude those four little letters convey.  I love the fact it can be used in polite company…even if you mean it in a rude way.

I love the fact that ‘snap’ has a fun gesture associated with it.  You can snap once.  You can snap three times.  It just depends on how much ‘tude your snap is packing.

I think ‘snap’ has the potential to replace a certain other more offensive four-letter word that can’t be used all the time.  Not in front of your kids.  Or your mother.  Or on television.  But it can mean the same thing.

Snap you.  Snap off.  Snapping A!

‘Snap’ is versatile.  It has personality.  It can be packed with whatever emotion you bring to your snap.

I even created a Facebook page dedicated to the ‘snap.’   Put your fingers together and like it!

Do the ‘snap!’

Shop talk

A good friend of mine blogs about word meaning and use (see “Word Nymph“).  I thought of her the other day when I realized how my definition for the phrase “window shopping” has changed over the years.

Growing up in rural Kentucky, we had to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to get to a mall.  When you make that kind of time commitment, you usually buy something...so our window shopping took place in a catalog before we left.

After I moved away to college, shops and malls were much closer.  I didn’t have a car then, but I could hitch a ride with a friend easily enough and window shop to my heart’s content.  And I really did window shop back then, because goodness knows I didn’t have any money.

Then I moved to the Midwest and got jobs and cars and drove myself everywhere.  I probably intended to window shop, but instead ended up buying lots of things I didn’t need.

When I moved to the Northeast, things changed even more.  I sold my car.  Walk pretty much everywhere.  On every corner, there are stores for major brands and boutiques and shops. And where do I do most of my window shopping today?


It’s just so easy.  I can visit any store in seconds, click around on the merchandise — select hundreds of dollars worth, if I feel like it — put it in the shopping cart, and then close out the window, buying absolutely nothing.

I get all the fun of shopping without spending any real money…

…well, that trip.

Sounds like…

How do you say Chipotle?  Or Hermes?  Or gyro?

Chances are, a lot of you are saying at least one of them wrong…and simply don’t know it.  Lemondrop.com has created a list of “Twelve Words You Didn’t Know You Were Mispronouncing.”

Check it out.  It may save you a world of embarrassment.

This topic is near and dear to my heart.  You see, my mother loved romance novels  — those thin, Silhouette paperbacks that ran about 125 pages and ended with hand-holding or a kiss.  The heroine was usually a governess, grade school teacher or cub reporter at a small town newspaper.

I started reading them when I still in grade school, so I was often learning new words that I had never heard spoken (and had certainly never had occasion to use in my day-to-day life).

Two such words were “aloof” and “arrogant.”  I knew by their use in the text what they meant, but I hadn’t heard them said aloud.

One day, my brother Michael — my childhood nemesis — was being especially annoying.   Adopting what I hoped was my most withering look, I placed my hands on my hips and spit at him,

“You are so ALOAF and AROWGINT!!”

I’d never heard my mother laugh harder in her life.  My brother just looked confused.

I’ve been a big fan of the dictionary ever since.