Friday, September 01, 2006


Fun With Words

I'm getting a chuckle out of my old thesaurus, literally - I took a look at it to find a synonym and then started reading it (I do this with most any book I pick up, really, all day long), and here's what I found:

Merry: joyful, joyous, jocund, jovial, jolly, blithesome, gleeful, hilarious.
Playful: tricksy, frisky, frolicsome, jocose, jocular, waggish, mirthful, rollicking.
Laugh: giggle, titter, snigger, snicker, chuckle, cackle, burst out, shout, roar, shake (or split) one's sides.
Liveliness: life, alacrity, vivacity, animation, joviality, jollity, levity, jocularity.

It was tricksy and frisky that got me laughing out loud. What a great language English is. Another quote on this theme from the introduction to Garrison Keillor's anthology Good Poems:

"A cunning low tongue, English, with its rich vocabulary of slander and concupiscence and sport, its fine Latin overlay and French bric-a-brac, and when someone speaks poetry in it, it stirs our little monolingual hearts." (p.xxv)

I was reading Circle of Sisters by Judith Flanders this afternoon and came across the word "tricksy"! Rudyard Kipling's sister, Alice, was called Trix all her life because her family thought her a "tricksy" girl. Who knew?
I love the name Trixie - my mother has a cousin named Mixie, but I can't remember if that's short for something else or not. I never did read the Trixie Belden books, I was more of a Nancy Drew girl, but Trixie always struck me as a good tomboy, tough-girl name.
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