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Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:27 am
by AndyM
Second one has the stress on the 'pri', pronounced 'pry'. Still mulling over the first one.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:30 pm
by Des
I know I've done this one before but it's Friday.

Warty. Warty.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:36 pm
by uiwangmike
Insult of the week: "You're unattractive inside".

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:28 pm
by Philellinas
Polydactyly. It arose from this week's teaser question in Round Britain Quiz: What did Anne Boleyn almost certainly not have which blues musician Hound Dog Taylor, music hall star Little Tich, and Dr Hannibal Lecter, definitely did? With its surfeit of "y"s and vowel deprivation it could almost be a stop on the Cambrian Coast railway line.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:42 pm
by NormanD
The answer is one or more extra fingers. Does this also apply to toes (which, incidentally, do not have 'names', such as index, ring, pinky, etc, as do fingers)? You could also add to the list Count Tyrone Rugen, a character in The Princess Bride, the evil Six-Fingered Man.

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:35 pm
by Philellinas
NormanD wrote:...You could also add to the list Count Tyrone Rugen, a character in The Princess Bride, the evil Six-Fingered Man.

I don't suppose he was known as "The Pterodactyl".

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:00 pm
by DavidM
.."The Pterodactyl"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1rGxex09cM&feature=related




Sorry.

...It just happened.

Re: Pterodactyl and the Dinosaurs

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:22 pm
by Gordon Neill
People said:

Pterodactyl


My favourite was 'Seaside Shuffle'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLtvakawa-k

Oh, and yes, Polydactyly also refers to extra toes. I, of all people, should know. I looked up google.

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:30 am
by Philellinas
Here's another one for your burgeoning Greek lexicon: αιμοδότης (m.) or αιμοδότρια (f.), i.e. a blood donor. By extension in colloquial Greek it also means somebody who gambles a small amount on the football pools (and perforce loses) but donates their losses to the big boys further up the food chain. I was a very successful blood donor in Thessaloniki as a leading light in a losing syndicate. At the moment the troika may be the blood donor and Greece the patient.

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:49 am
by Philellinas
zwangerschapsverlof. "Maternity leave" in Dutch in case you were wondering as I was until this morning. The Dutch would seem to go in for the kind of word-building common in German.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:01 pm
by Hugh Weldon
And if you were on zwangerschapsverlof, you might have the time to go and look at an exhibition, for which the Dutch word is tentoonstelling which I always found quite charming.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:07 pm
by kas
Voarberjocht. "Weather forecast" in the West Frisian language.

Just popped back in my head after a number of years. We spent parts of one summer holiday on the island of Terschelling in Friesland, and the Frisian TV news were a constant linguistic delight: both the similarity and the difference between Dutch and Frisian were unmissable and perplexing. The spelling highlighted the difference while the pronounciation brought out the similarity.
I couldn't escape the feeling that "Voarberjocht" like it was spelled looked very similar to some Sami words I'd seen written (even that similarity, though, evaporated when the word was read out loud; you may see why I was fascinated).

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:44 pm
by Philellinas
Our flagging Greek needs a boost: boustrophedon. Literally it means "ox turn" but is defined as ploughwise as in writing from right to left and left to right on alternate lines. Apparently some of the ancients were a dab hand at writing "backwards" as well as forwards. Ambidextrous writing? Certainly dextrous.

Re: Favourite Words

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:19 am
by Philellinas
ξυρίζομαι (pronounced ksirizomai approximately) is an onomatopoeic verb meaning "to have a shave" . However, metaphorically it also means "to be cleaned out, to lose your shirt". As Greece's hapless creditors queue for their haircut (i.e. undergo a huge financial loss) I enjoy the imagery but not their losses particularly.

Favourite Words

PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:10 am
by Philellinas
χαράτσι (pronounced "haratsi") is the name given to the new emergency, special property tax levied by the impecunious Greek government. It was originally a poll-tax imposed on non-Moslem subjects of the Ottoman Empire. In such places as the Balkans people would convert to Islam for purely financial reasons. It is derived from the Turkish word haraç and illustrates the linguistic cross-fertilisation that has taken place over the centuries: the "ts" combination in Greek corresponds to the letter "ç" in Turkish.
In hard-pressed Greece the χαράτσι does not distinguish between faiths and is collected through the electricity bill on the basis of the size of your property. A small one-bedroom flat would incur a charge of about 200 euros. Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some reason in Greek χαράτσι has come to mean "an unfair financial imposition" and is enjoying a resurgence.