Monday, August 27, 2007

Skwimming your chorch, bombilations and leaf-hoppers

Sequim is a town in Washington state, presumably a place of ordinary repute. If you say it correctly, it sounds like se-kwim. But if you say it fast, it sounds like skwim.

Is it just me or does that sound dirty?

I imagine the word SKWIM in colorful bold letters blazing from one of those magazine racks behind the convenience store counter that is fitted with placards that hide the porno pix on the covers of the naughty books but not the titles--assuming there are any such racks left.

I wonder if the implication of the word would in itself require censorship. Hm. Dunno. But the act of skwimming would surely involve an orifice or two. Bodily fluids might factor in as might utensils, restraint devices and multiple participants.

"I'm telling you, we skwimmed all night. All night."

Usually when I make up words, they arrive in my head without definitions. They are like literary orphans, running around looking for a meaning, although I always thought Blunge would be a good name for a toilet cleaner. "Bleach can't touch that stain? Blunge it out!"

I love thinking up phonetically interesting words.



Wenality is the sort of word someone in my writer's group would use. "What I'm saying is this chapter lacks wenality." This sentence would float around the room in silence for a moment before I would say, "What the eff does wenality mean?" And everyone might pause and look around until someone would make a comment that might or might not be relevant, say, "It's at the sake of contrast," which would suffice. Then we'd dive back into our frenetic discussion.



Clerestory is a good word. So is ullage. My brother and grandfather argued over the word bombilation, which appears on page 18 of "Leaving Las Vegas," but is not in some dictionaries (presumably the one my grandfather used when he was alive). It is in the Unabridged Webster's Third New International Dictionary (2662 pages, about 12 lbs), which despite its ungainliness, is the reference dictionary I use. It is the very dictionary John used when he wrote. He sent to me a few weeks before he killed himself. This was before people began purchasing such volumes on thin DVDs, when bot was the larvae of the botfly and google was a silly sounding word bouncing around someone's head looking for a meaning, when the term search engine was nonsensical and browser was slang for someone who hung around all day at a bookstore and never bought anything.

The first word in the main body of the dictionary is a, and is noted as "the first letter of the English alphabet." Sounds like a good start to me. Erin is not listed, but john is, as are several terms that include john. The last listing in Webster's Third is zyzzogeton, which is a genus of large South American leaf-hoppers. Breathe is on page 273, death is on page 581.

Life is on page 1306.


Norm said...

If I remember correctly, "Google" is an unintentional misspelling of the word "googol," which is a mathematical term. It is 10 raised to the 100th power, and thus is a relatively small Very Large Number. It was invented in 1920 by a nine-year-old, which makes it a perfectly cromulent word.

Philip said...

Erin, check out HotForWords on YouTube. Not sure how you'll feel about it, but give it a chance.

And if you like playing with words, then you should have a post titled "Erin Go Braghless".

I'm just sayin'.

josh williams said...

I would have left a more personal in depth comment but I was so aroused I had to log of and get down to some good ole fashion Skwimming.

zen wizard said...

I have always thought that THIS town's name was a little suggestive--I dunno; maybe it's just me...

The Fool said...

Hmmmm. Death comes before life in the dictionary. I hadn't given that much thought. We only use the dictionary when someone wants "sympathty." Then we hand them the book and tell '"it's between shit & syphilis."

CheekierMeSly said...

I'm currently feckless and without a skwimm partner. Sucks to be me!

countrymouse said...

Tiny correction: properly pronounced, that town's name sounds like skwim. Only out-of-towners make the mistake of pronouncing it se-kwim. Word to the wise : )

Off to find hubby--hope he's wearing a skwimsuit . . .

Hal said...

For the record, "Skwim" is the correct pronunciation of the town's name.

I hear Radar O'Reilly had a wild night of "slaking" during a stopover in Sequim. He probably put on one of Klinger's dresses and drank a spiked Grape Nehi, but who am I to speculate.

29 minutes to an eclipse, from what I hear.

Hal said...

I wanted to also mention that Washington State has a number of cities and towns with peculiar sounding names.

For example, many think Spokane is pronounced "Spo-kane," and Yakima (hometown of Kyle Maclachlan) "yuh-K-EYE-MUH." They were our versions of Worcester (Wooster).

~d said...

Bombilation is a word. Hunter told me so! (smile)

Right now I am digging on:

Chill and relax. Chillax.

Love you, Erin! For more reasons than I can say!

Erin O'Brien said...

Norm: I like the way you say "relatively small Very Large Number." I like the way you capitalize. I like, baby. I like, I like, I like.

Philip: Thanks for the link. And just for reference, I am currently bra(gh)less as I type this, so there's that.

Williams: Hands where we can see them, please.

Zen: Wow! thanks for that, which delivers in more ways than one--after all, it's going to be 97 here today.

Fool: That is so appropriate for so many reasons. It also applies to "cut me a little slack."

Cheek: Not that I have any personal experience with it or anything like that, but I've heard that self-skwimming can be very satisfying.

Hal and Mouse: I thought that "Skwim" might indeed be the pronunciation, but was hoping it wasn't quite that pornographic (I also just thought everyone was saying it fast). After reading both your comments, I'm wondering about Radar in a skwimsuit. Better go find me a grape NeHi.

~d: You and me could surely chillax, babygirl. Bostick used to say chillax (which I love as well). What happened to him? His blog is a ghosttown.

Jarvis Rockhall said...

How can you post a blog entry about nonsensical words, that should be words but aren't, without including 'Fot?'

Anyhow, I'm feeling like a bit florbonizzled right now so I'll have to go and transductomize my kerfrizzlum.


Denny Shane said...

Why am I getting very horny all of a sudden? ;)

Elisson said...

Sequim...pronounced "see quim."

If I want to see quim, allus I gotta do is fire up my internet browser and I can see all the quim I want.

Anonymous said...

..... "Breathe is on page 273".... I like that very, very much....


Badger said...

I've spent time in the village of Dildo, Newfoundland.

Erin O'Brien said...

Jarv: Elonicrip your portipion immediately if not sooner. I will not stand for that sort of muckrotion on this site.

Denny: Dunno. Has it anything to do with Jarv's Wharbay?

Elisson: You sure you're not looking for sequins? I like the pink ones. And the gold and rainbow too.

Eric: Thanks. Me too.

Badger: Tell me, did phalluses grow from trees there?

Jarvis Rockhall said...

I humbly offer you my sincerest glorbotron in andalusion for my karnflaxoid parsimmondism...

Erin O'Brien said...

Okay Mr. Rockhall Man! That's about enough of that sort of language. let's keep the party polite, please!

Elisson said...

Wharbay: Mattel's brand-new Working Girl doll. Comes with hot pants, a dozen tiny little prophylactics, and Pimp Ken.