Missing thumbs and logorrhea.

logorrheic
adjective
1. Using or containing more words than necessary to express an idea. – Merriam-Webster1
2. My inner monologue, in a nutshell. – The Nut


I have been called a lot of things, but succinct was never one of them.

I like my words. I like my words in large, flowery quantities. I like rolling language around on my tongue and in my head and finding new and interesting means to do so.

When I was little, my mother and I used to turn to a random page in her massive Webster’s dictionary every day and learn a new word together. I revive this practice whenever my vocabulary is feeling a bit uninspired, because I figure if you can’t be concise, at least be creative.

And when the regular dictionary starts feeling like old hat, there are websites for people like me.

My discovery started innocently enough with a mildly malicious tweet.

(I know it’s a really good poem, but please hold your applause.)

I was originally just going to write “Nothing rhymes with silver.” But then I remembered that’s a lie, and there actually is a word – “chilver” – that rhymes with it perfectly well.

Problem was, I couldn’t remember what a chilver was. I was fairly sure it had no pertinence to my epic poetic masterpiece, but I opted to investigate just in case.

I could have just Googled “chilver”, but instead I ended up on Wikipedia because there’s really no sense looking up just one obscure rhyme on a slow Thursday afternoon when you can find ALL THE OBSCURE RHYMES on one page and kill 33 birds with one stone.

I found “chilver” easily enough, which turned out to be a female lamb and therefore, as suspected, not relevant to a poem about loud people keeping their big yaps shut.

Having satisfied that curiosity, I worked my way back up the list, chuckling at purple nurples and deciding that from now on our apartment isn’t dusty, it’s just lying dormant under a film of pilm.

Then I hit “circus” and its corresponding rhyme, “murcous”, meaning “having cut off one’s thumb”.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds oddly specific to me. I wondered just how much a of a problem cutting off one’s thumbs used to be for it to have its own dedicated word. Was there some kind of widespread thumb loss that required a collective name, or was there just this one guy who was really, really disgruntled about losing his opposable digits and decided to cope by coining a term for his newfound state of being?

“Oh drat, there go my thumbs in the wheat thresher. If only I had a word for the thumbless situation I find myself in! This is unacceptable! It must be remedied!

“Also, could somebody please take me to a hospital.”

I couldn’t take it. I Googled “murcous”, seeking an explanation.

I found a few spotty references suggesting it was a practice done intentionally to avoid service in the military. It seems to me there could be better ways of getting out of that, but hey, what do I know.

And then suddenly I didn’t care about the reason behind all those severed thumbs, because I discovered the International House of Logorrhea. Approximately two seconds later I was already in love and wanted to have its lexicographical babies. I texted Nutty Hubby and told him I was leaving him for a dictionary. He didn’t even pretend to be surprised.

If you like unusual words, I suggest you check it out, because an awful lot of the entries are surprisingly relevant to modern life and popular culture.

Enjoying the show at a strip club? Tell the dancer what an excellent ecdysiast she is as you slip that dollar bill in her G-string.

Need a one word description of Indiana Jones? “Mastigophorous” to the rescue!

And if your date keeps nibbling on your earlobes, but you’re just not the kind of gal who’s into that, you can tell them to quit being such a damn gynotikolobomassophile already. If they take offense, butter them back up with some basic blandiloquence.

See? Endless everyday applications, I tell you.

Until tomorrow, dear friends. An eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious day to you all.


Today’s blog post was brought to you by the letter L, the number treiskaídeka, and the MyVerbosityCanBeatUpYourVerbosity Challenge, AKA the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

1 “logorrheic.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2015. Web. 14 April 2015.

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11 thoughts on “Missing thumbs and logorrhea.

  1. I’ve been wondering what you’ll do when you get to X, but I’ve never worried. And now I know why. I also dive into dictionaries. I work in a library that gives me access to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is dangerous. Each word also has its etymology which is fascinating even for familiar words. I often feel understanding a word’s whole history. Sometimes though it lets me down. Murcous is of uncertain origin, although it “incorporates the adjective-forming suffix -cus , apparently associated with physical defects”.

    Think about that the next time you cuss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This made me laugh – first, because I just wrote a post about people who talk too much. Second, because I also share your love for unusual words and can spend entire afternoons distracted by websites that share definitions, synonyms, and the etymology of words. I’m a little nerdy that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooooo, salivating over here. I have a page on my website “The Dictionary of Purple Prose” where I tack unusual (but still useful) words that aren’t heard every day anymore. This website is going to make it bulk up so much! XD

    Liked by 1 person

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