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Posts Tagged ‘jumble’

Hello,

This week’s word is jargogle and you won’t find it in your dictionary as it’s an obsolete English word, but I think it needs to make a comeback.

A jargogle of yarn

I came across jargogle in a fun article by Heather Carreiro about obsolete English words. Jargogle qualifies easily for Wordfoolery as it’s fun to say aloud. Jargogle is a verb meaning to jumble or confuse and it dates to the 1690s.

Do we have other words for the same concept? Yes, we do, but honestly are any of them as much fun as jargogle? I also can’t help thinking that jargogle must relate to the confusion which falls upon a thinker after “having a few jars” – i.e. drinking a few pints of beer. I mean we use beer-googles to describe how beautiful people appear when viewed through the bottom of an empty beer glass, so why not jargogle in the same vein?

The West Berkshire Brewery used to produce a Jargogle Stout but nobody has recorded if it jargogled the drinkers.

The origin of jargogle is lost in time, or possibly lost in the pub, although some sources suggest a connection to the word jargon. Jargon itself comes to English from Old French and relates to chattering, idle talk, gibberish, and thieves’ Latin. The idea of a special cant for the society of thieves is intriguing, but I’m putting that one aside for another day in case it jargogles my mind.

Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,

Grace (@Wordfoolery)

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Hello,

This week’s word is hodgepodge (pronunciation here), and its close cousins hotchpotch and mishmash. All three terms describe a mixture of different things, a jumble of items without order or reason.

hodgepodge of ribbons (1)

Hodgepodge of Ribbons

 

Any crafter has a box, basket or jar containing a hodgepodge. My mother had her button tin thriftily containing snipped off buttons from clothes outgrown by family members, plus odd zips, buckles, and clips of various types. I adored rummaging in it. My daughter has several hodgepodge boxes and jars filled with shells, stones, buttons, beads, and string. As a crocheteer I’ve a large oddments basket stuffed with ends of balls of yarn used as colour inspiration and for smaller trims and striped hats for charity.

A Hodgepodge Jar

A Hodgepodge Jar

Perhaps the crafting female of the species is most drawn to this pack-rat ability to cluster items in a hodgepodge. Anybody creating mood boards on pinterest is channelling the same urge. But most of us will also know a small boy who, if forced to, will turn out an amazing mishmash of items from his pocket (sticks, a feather, broken crayon, a leftover sweet, ammo for a long-lost toy). The adult male will claim to be immune to such gathering but if you investigate closely you will find either a box or drawer containing old plugs, a hotchpotch of batteries, and spare screws. My own DH gathers wood because of his wood-carving hobby so I find hodgepodges of timbers, all sizes, slipped behind trees to dry outdoors or perched in odd places around our shed waiting to fall on me when I pull out the spade.

hotchpotch of yarn

It doesn’t surprise me that there are so many charming terms for these random collections or that hodgepodge dates back to the 15th century. We humans started as gatherers as well as hunters, remember. In some ways this blog is my hodgepodge of unusual words.

Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling.

Grace

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Hello,

This week’s word is gallimaufry which I came across in “C’est la folie” by Michael Wright, a good read about a man moving to the back of beyond in France to challenge himself to become a modern hero. I’ve been reading a stack of books set in France to remind myself that despite the long, grey, wet days here in January (and so far in February too), that sunshine does still exist!

Gallimaufry (gall-lee-mau-free, pronunciation audio here) is a jumble or hodgepodge of disparate objects. I rather like the words jumble and hodgepodge too. There must be something about heaps of junk that inspires wordfoolery.

The term comes from the Old French word gallimafree which was a sauce or ragout, typically made with a random selection of leftovers.

My noticeboard (homemade from my collection of wine corks) is definitely a gallimaufry. It reflects my crafting interests as well as my writing so NaNoWriMo postcards jostle inspiring ribbons, photos, maps, and meaningful quotations. Do you have a gallimaufry in your home? Or in your stew pot?

gallimaufry cropped

Until next time happy reading, writing, and wordfooling,

Grace

Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads, and LinkedIn or sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.

 

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