Friday, June 29, 2007

Do You Have A Favorite Word?

Back in the day, my favorite word was Poncho. Not because of the meaning -- it's just so fun to say. But now I may have a new favorite. I found it when leafing through my dictionary (yes, I do that - shut up). From the OED:
absquatulate [A factitious word, simulating a L. form (cf. abscond, gratulate) of American origin, and jocular use.] To make off, decamp.

1837-40 HALIBURTON Clockmaker (1862) 363 Absquotilate it in style, you old skunk,..and show the gentlemen what you can do. 1858 DOW Serm. I. 309 in Bartlett Dict. Amer., Hope's brightest visions absquatulate. 1861 J. LAMONT Seahorses xi. 179 He [an old bull-walrus] heard us, and lazily awaking, raised his head and prepared to absquatulate.
My dictionary gives "Your horse has absquatulated!" as the sentence. Then I also found out about this book: Five hundred mistake of daily occurrence in speaking pronouncing and writing the English language, corrected ... I haven't read it yet, but how can that fail to be wonderful? Unlikely to be better than Strunk & White, but you can't have everything.

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