Nominate a Word

Hi,

I haven’t run out of unusual words, yet, but it’s possible. In the meantime, I’m very happy to accept suggestions of unusual English words – anything that’s not used daily is in with a chance, the quirkier the better. Just comment below and I’ll credit you when I write a post about the word, so include your blog link/twitter handle too.

thanks!

Grace (a.k.a Wordfoolery)

18 thoughts on “Nominate a Word

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  3. Scotty

    Hornswoggle is a ridiculous word that makes me giggle. Some folks think it means to be swindled, finagled or boondoggled. But to me, hornswaggled is the face of my perplexed, bewildered husband when he looks in his wallet on Monday morning.

    Reply
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  6. Jed Martin

    Hi Grace,

    The word ‘coney’ or similar as a component of place or street names has long intrigued me.
    I grew up near Coneygree Road near Peterborough, so was amazed to find a Coneygre Road on moving to Bristol. Since then I’ve seen many variations on maps or while travelling, such as:
    Coniger
    Conygar

    and many, many more.
    They must have common ancestry, and rabbits are sometimes (rarely now) called ‘conies’. But no European language reflects thus term e.g French is ‘lapin’.
    The nearest is Italian ( ‘coniglia’ I think) and Latin.
    Any ideas when the term originated? And why were cultivated rabbits farmed in ‘warrens’?
    Cheers,
    G.M.

    Reply
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    1. wordfoolery Post author

      I had to look that one up as I haven’t heard it in years (OED tells me it’s the person who comes last in a race or competition but offers no etymology). I couldn’t find anything definitive but sadly, as it’s a negative association with the name Paddy, it probably belongs to the unpleasant era of “paddy jokes”, a way to throw abuse at Irish people as being poor, ill-educated, and stupid. What I can tell you is that I haven’t heard it used in Ireland in decades, so hopefully it is dying out elsewhere too.

      Reply

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