The Megalomaniac WobbleAss
May 27, 2017 1:23pm CST
I love words, I really do. I even collect them, a very enjoyable hobby, believe me. Words cost nothing, don’t need much space, don’t breed and multiply like, say, Sticky Insects. I have a large collection of side-splittingly, sock-wettingly funny German surnames. If only you knew German well, I could entertain you for the rest of the day. Compound nouns are typical for the German language. English has some words like this, for example bus + driver = bus driver. German has innumerable ones. Innumerable because we can make up new words if we feel like it. Just some examples, I can’t resist: would you like to have as your surname Chicken-leg, Mice-nest (I’m going to write the words with a hyphen so that you can understand them, but they’re really written together as one word), Pig’s-bladder, Faithful-sausage, Morning-sweat, Full-moon, Hollow-belly, Kneel-down, From-behind, Milk-sack, Angst-worm, Courageous-apple, Head-nail, Flour-trousers, Nine-devils, Don’t-laugh, Spoon-wood, Taste-beer, Grumble-belly, Winter-coat etc. etc. These names are fortunately very rare. I’ve been on the look-out for years and have by now collected some hundred. I put a surname into my collection if it has a funny meaning or if it sounds funny. For that I can’t give you examples because you have to have a German ear to react to that. English words can sound funny, too, at least I think so and my students are of the same opinion. Words like blabbermouth, and wobbleass or the expression ‘wallow in blood’ don’t need much explanation. We hear them with our Teutonic ears and understand them immediately. ‘Pupils have pimples’ produces a sure laugh and wins them over to English at once. The older ones find words like ‘megalomaniac’ and other so-called hard words interesting, i.e. words of Greek and Latin origin and squeeze them in wherever possible. They have then to develop a feeling for style and speech levels. Have you got any favourite words in your native language?
16 people like this
• United Kingdom
There are so many that we use in different occasions but one I often use with my immediate family is Stupifulous. One of my mothers friends used to try to use big words usually mispronouncing them. I coined this word when taking fun out of her once she had left our house and we have used it ever since to describe her or anyone else trying to impress!
• Bunbury, Australia
It's not really a FAVOURITE word but we have a tree called a 'snotty-gobble' which really has horrible connotations. The fruit from the tree has flesh the colour of snot (nasal mucous) and emus are said to gobble up the fruit if they come across it hence 'snotty-gobble'.