Entertainment and Sports

Words I Like

Kevin Somers doesn't know who would name a fruit kumquat, but he's glad they did.

By Kevin Somers
Published October 19, 2010

Inspired by Ben Bull, who comically articulated a distaste for certain words, but also mindful of my wife, who said, "Your positive articles are better," I'm compiling a list of words I like, like asinine. Smoking crack is asinine. Crack is a good word, too. Nice crack!

Crap, which sounds like crack, is also a good word. The late, great Les Lye told me that words with a "ka" or "pu" sounds are funniest, so crap is bookended with hilarity (good word). As well, crap is versatile: give a crap; holy crap; dog crap; full of crap; feel like crap; look like crap; Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party. Crap.

Ask any five-year-old: diarrhoea is hilarious, except when afflicted. Splatter and splat are good, too, as are most other examples of onomatopoeia: crackle, click, crunch, ping, pong, bing, bong, BANG.

So-so describes mediocrity in English, the French say comme ci comme ca, and the Japanese use mama; similarly good words. I like a lot of Japanese words: dozo - go ahead; domo - thanks, eh; domo arigato - thank you, very much; domo arigato gozaimasu - thank you, very much, superior human; genki - feeling groovy; toki doki - sometimes; wakata - get it? or got it. Wakata?


Nincompoop, simpleton, and moron are great words for undressing, dismissing, or describing an imbecile, which is another great word. Nincompoops and imbeciles are easily bamboozled. Few words are in bamboozled's pantheon (good word) of good words. Nitwit, nitwittery, nitwitted, nitwittedness are fine words, as well. Ninny is effective. Don't be a ninny.

I hate doodads, doohickies, and thingamajigs, but love the words. Hey, dad, nice doodads.

I'm scared of caves, the dark, and unknown, so I consider spelunking a horrible hobby but a wonderful word.

There's nothing finer than a seersucker suit. Seersucker isn't just a great fabric, it's also an outlandishly good word. (Raise your hand if you don't like outlandishly.)

I don't know who would name a fruit kumquat, but I'm glad they did.

Because I like saying duodenum, it's my favourite body part. Even if it's not true, I tell people my duodenum is acting up or I have duodentitis.

Agog and agape are great words, too, and you can use them all together. Agog, with mouth agape, the beautiful, voluptuous, sensuous, young woman waited anxiously for news on his failing duodenum.

Halitosis sounds funny, but isn't. Neither is haemorrhoid. My brother called me haemorrhoid for years before I knew what it meant or had one. It still hurts.

Peachy, funky, and groovy are all peachy, funky, groovy words. There's something compelling about cannibal, cannibalism, and cannibalize, too. Cantankerous, ornery, quarrelsome, disputatious, grumpy, and testy are good, effective words, but unpleasant dispositions (fine word).

Felix Wankel (two great names) invented the Wankel Engine, which is awesome. I'm a big fan of shenanigans, as well.

Airhead, bedhead, bonehead, bobblehead, butthead, egghead, gearhead, fathead, hathead, hothead, pothead, pinhead, redhead, deadhead, and Fredhead are good, heady words.

Because he used it often, as with me, Herman Melville must have enjoyed monomaniacal. Despite the man's failing duodenum, the beautiful, voluptuous, sensuous, young woman pursued him with a monomaniacal fervour.

Delusional and megalomaniac are good words, too.

Over is a good word. It's all over.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.


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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 10:10:10

This reminded me of radio free vestibule's "waiting for the bus." classic.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 19, 2010 at 14:37:10

To add to your list of heads one frequently hears Dough-Head used as a capacity descriptor in Nova Scotia. "What a dough-head!"

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By Michelle Martin (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 19:01:57

To add to your list of heads one frequently hears Dough-Head used as a capacity descriptor in Nova Scotia. "What a dough-head!"

Ha--my Dad says that all the time! He was born in Pictou.

One of my favourite Down East expressions, that my Grandmother uses often (and is probably Scottish in origin), is "boughten," to describe things that one could make from scratch but has purchased instead, as in, "boughten bread" or "boughten cookies."

Comment edited by Michelle Martin on 2010-10-19 18:05:05

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2010 at 23:47:25

Or in the St. Thomas vernacular, going "acrossed" the street :)

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