Mirriam-Webster’s can keep its austere pragmatism to itself. I’ve got my own ideas. The dictionary has got out its list of top ten words of the year based on what people went sniffing around for.

The real meaning will be available at the site and others, but what are words if they cannot provide some delicious new meanings?

Here are my definitions to the chosen 10:

1. austerity: Ossifying basic needs so that you can have the temerity to pretend you were accustomed to luxuries

2. pragmatic: The ability to brag about being pneumatic

3. moratorium: Putting a stop to morals at the last minute.

4. socialism: A political ideology that allows you to socialise without feeling guilty

5. bigot: A shortened term for big idiot

6. doppelganger: A gangster who is trying to repel his dope habit

7. shellacking: A lack of shells to chuck

8. ebullient: A schizophrenic bullish attitude that is always close to turning lenient

9. dissident: Someone who disses anything that lacks teeth

10. furtive: The use of fur to pretend to be what you are not

I have never been a dictionary junkie even though I love words. When I was young, I would mark the ones I did not know the meanings of and try to figure out what they meant in the sentence, within the context. It was a long process, but exciting. I was often wrong, but I was right too. How did I know? I asked people who did. It gave me an opportunity to discover words, discover the possibility of their usage and to know how much others knew!

I find the idea of people who are interested in current affairs running to check words that are used quite commonly rather curious. Some would consider it a step towards knowledge. In a way, it is. But, if the word ‘austerity’ has made it on the basis of the hits during a time of crisis, in Greece to begin with, where people went on strike and there was acute shortage of essentials, then I find this sort of intelligence seeking mercenary, taking the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss’ to another level of was bliss.

Besides, dictionary definitions can be rather limiting. Each culture has such wonderful colloquialisms and slang and meshing of dialects to include in the mainstream of English that a static definition just cannot convey. Purists would look down upon it, but then purists happily gorge on Latin proverbs and those French exclamations and Spanish forms of address to make perfectly capable Anglo-Saxon look like a mixed-up soup. If that’s what we permit, then let’s just add various condiments and learn the language of our thoughts. So, what’s on your mind?


  1. FV, Funny :)

    My idea of some of those words is slightly different, but that is probably because I am looking at a kannada/Tamil dictionary.

    2. pragmatic: A machine that automates the process of pragging.

    3. moratorium: The act of getting more and more tore-up in a wild party.

    6. doppelganger: An accomplished and dangerous criminal who belongs to two rival criminal gangs at the same time.

    8. ebullient: A person with personality traits very similar to that of an adult e-bull.


  2. PS: Arghworthy when people spell Definitely as "Definately".

  3. Al:

    Good ones! If you are looking at a Tam-Kan dictionary, should not moratorium be an utthapam with flakes of muduku?

    Don't you 'definately' arghree?

    PS: Worse than the spelling is how definitely is pronounced.

  4. " If you are looking at a Tam-Kan dictionary, should not moratorium be an utthapam with flakes of muduku? "

    DAng....you are correct about the murukku+uthappam. BTW, Murukku is Tamil and Muduku is Kannada, if I am reading this dictionary right. Here is what the TK dictionary says about Moratorium:

    Rare earth element serendipitously discovered by Ammani G. K. Ranganayaki Ammal of Morattur, Tamilnadu, when she made Muduku from week old Uthappam batter -- a feat considered an impossiblity by cooks worldwide. Unfortunately, this element cannot be served on a Periodic Table. Moratorium derived from "Morattur".

    "Don't you 'definately' arghree?"

    argh, argh, captain.

    "PS: Worse than the spelling is how definitely is pronounced."

    Very True. I think "definately" is the hooked-on-phonics version of "definitely".


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