Nov 9, 2018

Funny Words

Umpty had been in use since the mid 19th Century as a slang term for an unspecified or seemingly impossibly large number, such as the word umpteen in the early 1900s.

Twankle, according to the English Dialect Dictionary (1905), to twankle is ‘to twang with the fingers on a music instrument’. Absentmindedly strumming or playing an instrument is also known as twiddling, twangling, tootling, noodling, plunking, or thrumming.

Xanthippe is a scolding, quarrelsome woman, named after the wife of the Greek philosopher Socrates, who was referred to by one of his students as "the most difficult woman not just of this generation … but of all the generations past and yet to come". While the reasons for that reputation are unclear, Xanthippe’s name ended up in the dictionary as a reference to a henpecking, argumentative spouse.

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