Word of the Year 2007

175 Responses

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  • Kyle Matthews,

    Can't be bothered looking this up, but isn't "foul" the modern spelling of "fell" anyway?

    Foul is a bad smell. Fell is cruel or fierce. Fell has French origins and is the same place that felon comes from. Foul apparently comes from ful, which is Old English.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Oh, don't get me started on 'guttered' and its ilk. I seem to be surrounded by people who suffer from some weird pseudo-homonym dyslexia...

    "One 'foul' swoop" (or even "one 'fowl' swoop") instead of "one fell swoop"

    "On 'tenderhooks'" instead of "on tenterhooks"

    Oh, you'll love this. The linguistic community has a name for these - they're called eggcorns (you know, the seeds of an oak) - and there's the Eggcorn Database, where you can revel in the linguistic craziness of others.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I like fillybusters.

    Oh yes. It's a very happy eggcorn.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    SNAP!

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    SNAP!

    For all intensive purposes, let's call it a drawer. ;)

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Celebutard

    Their PR spinmasters have tried to foist the term Celebutante on us, but no, let's stick with Celebutard. It's a more apt term for those that both stupidly famous and famously stupid.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    and there's the Eggcorn Database, where you can revel in the linguistic craziness of others.

    OMG! Ex-potential! I've been wanting a word for that. Y'know, like the way Chris Cairns had tonnes of potential and just needed to realise his potential and then he retired.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    d'oh!

    It's a more apt term for those that are both stupidly famous and famously stupid.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    oooo... eggcorns.

    'pacific".

    ie, "he wasn't being pacific in his answers, he evaded every major point."

    uniquely new zealand in my experience.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Testcard,

    Nothing to with homonyms or homophones:

    I detest the misuse of 'literally' as a synonym to 'very' - i.e. 'I'm literally gutted.'

    What, like a fish?

    Since Nov 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the misuse of 'literally' as a synonym to 'very' - i.e. 'I'm literally gutted.'

    What, like a fish?

    nah, just means they haven't got the ability to digest literature.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Testcard,

    On reflection, the misuse of 'literally' is a homophone matter, since it seems to also be a synonym for 'totally' or 'absolutely'...

    Nice one Che.

    I'm literally in awe of you right now.

    Since Nov 2007 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton,

    "Literally buggered" was how a bloke described himself to me once.

    Maybe the entire nation's suffering from old timer's disease.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Maybe the entire nation's suffering from old timer's disease.

    You mean like the prostrate problems I keep hearing about?

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Creon Upton,

    You mean like the prostrate problems I keep hearing about?

    Well, you can't be literally buggered if you're supine.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 68 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    But the question is, would all of these wonderfully practical uses of language get you points in a PISA test? It wouldn't surprise me. And would "the chances of winning Lotto are a million to one" be acceptable?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Is it an urban myth, or was it true, that once upon a time comparative census statistics showed that NZ had the highest proportion of one-person religions in the world? Who cares, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. My bet (again) is that we are just really creative (i.e. bad) spellers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    So how about some creative egg-horning or will that make you all apocalyptic?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I am still enamoured with the term "bromantic".

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    horse mounted hippies disciplining the flock

    I know that was way back on the thread, but thanks Steven Crawford for giving me the most bizarre mental image of my entire week (and I love bizarre).

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Fell is cruel or fierce

    Ta - you know, I realise I originally guessed it was related to foul at the time I was probably reading the LotR at age 13 or so (fell beasts etc). Been under the misapprehension ever since.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I was probably reading the LotR at age 13

    ah.. the halcyon daze.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I seem to be surrounded by people who suffer from some weird pseudo-homonym dyslexia...

    The linguistic community has a name for these - they're called eggcorns

    I thought the word for this is was 'malapropism'. My wife does them all the time and they seriously crack me up. Some of them are really quite apt.

    btw, I withdraw my entry 'Fizzer' in awe of 'Sub-prime' capturing it much better. Now I won't trust Fizzer with a tin-foot barge pool.

    I agree with Robyn that 'World Class' really means 'World Class in Oceania'.

    Well, you can't be literally buggered if you're supine.

    Don't make me show you a picture. The only thing you can't be literally buggered in is a chastity belt.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Oh wait - I have another - Bollard (def: Thick wooden post, an impediment to progress).

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    The only thing you can't be literally buggered in is a chastity belt.

    I really really hope that one day I'll be able to use that quote in a conversation.

    Morningside • Since Nov 2006 • 533 posts Report Reply

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