New Year's Resolutions, Snollygosters and Ninnyhammers
So here we are ringing in another New Year, and naturally, this is the time for all the listers across the globe to list all those listing type of things listers like to do. Things like Top 10 lists of this and that, New Year’s Resolution Lists, new bucket lists, and so forth and so on.
Jeez Louise, even the smart folks in charge of the Oxford English Dictionary came out with a list of popular words that rang out 2009, and, according to them, will continue to top the tips of our tongues in 2010.
Apparently snollygosters along with jeggings and tweetups moved into the top three slots.
Snollygosters? I think I found my new favorite word. I even like the way it sounds.
Still, all snollygosters aside, that word (meaning a smart, unprincipled person) pales alongside my personal favorite—ninnyhammers which more or less is a synonym for my all time favorite epithet, Big Fat Stupid Heads. Sadly, Big Fat Stupid Heads and ninnyhammers didn’t make anyone’s list anywhere.
Despite those omissions, I still love word lists. That’s a job hazard of being a writer—we love words. The way they sound, how some swirl around your mouth, how some imitate the sound they refer to, how some spew venom, how others soothe the soul.
Popular words like trendy clothes reflect society–the good, the bad and, yes, even the ugly. So as we enter into the next decade, we now have words like sexting, staycations and cougars (and no, I’m not talking about the four legged kind either).
Sometimes I think the whole thing is meeping ridiculous. Supposedly the word “hadron” ranked in the No. 8 spot for most popular words of 2009 on some lists. I think I went the entire decade without once uttering that word. In fact, I had to jump speedy quick over to dictionary.com to find out exactly what that little two syllable noun meant. Sad to say, now that I know the definition (itsy, bitzy particles subject to collision in that big Hadron Collider thing), well, I think I can safely bet that another decade will slip by without me uttering the word “hadron” in a sentence.Continued on the next page