Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ostriches are Bogus!

Today, I have a little mother tongue that comes to me from my brother a (Commander in the US Navy to all of you!). Ostrobogulous, (Os-tra'-bag-u-los) may be a little harder to work into a conversation than other words I have posted, but its meaning is so closely linked to the unlikeliness of its syllable count that it should be managed.

Apparently popular among historical philologists like Martha Barnette (host of A Way With Words) and Erin McKean (chief editor of the Oxford University Press), ostrobogulous is an adjective which means -- Slightly risqué or indecent; bizarre, interesting, or unusual.

I have practiced reciting it under my breath, as if I burped or cursed, when confronted with a particularly titillating work of modern art (or a particularly grotesque one). In fact, the "superfragilisticexpiallidocious" complexity of the word makes it an incredibly tempting new swear word. One reserved for, say, the "two headed cow fetus in a jar" at your next trip to Palace of Wonders. Most people will assume you are swearing in another language, anyway.

Of course, it could also be your new secret name for your cadre of friends, as in "The Ostrobogulous Granfaloon", (which is even more fun to say than it is to write).

"A granfalloon is a proud and meaningless association of human beings."--Kurt Vonnegut

1 comment:

  1. Did anyone catch my shout out to FireFly in this post? Think Simon, Kaylee in a mysterioso tent... Just Checkin'.