Friday, April 5, 2013


The present tense of brobdinagian...and the future

The title word grabbed you didn’t it? I’ll be honest. It got me too.

I pride myself with having a pretty sizeable vocabulary.  In fact when my daughter was little she didn’t go to Merriam Webster for her definitions, she just asked mom. And now that she is grown, it is not unusual to receive a phone call from her asking me to define a word.  That’s me, good old mom the walking dictionary.

Being the conceited wordsmith I imagine myself to be, it took me aback when watching one of my favorite TV shows, “The big bang theory," one of the characters tossed out the word... “Brobdingnagian.”

I thought, hmmmm this is a TV show, and it can’t be a real word, so I looked it up and sure as shooting Mr. Webster disagreed.  It is a word and it means marked by tremendous size.  The origins are appropriately related to "Brobdingnag" the imaginary land of giants in Gulliver’s Travels. 

I guess you really can learn something new from television, even if it isn’t on the discovery channel. Excepting reality TV shows, the descriptive phrase "Boob tube" is steadily becoming a brobdingnagian fallacy.

When my daughter and I play Words with friends (which we do all the time since I am such a nerd at heart) and she uses one of her off the wall words that no one has ever heard of, I will simply pull out brobdinagian and walk away with the win. 


Craftymoose Crafts said...

I had no idea what that meant either! Always interesting at your blog!

Christine said...

I love to hear about new words, this one's neat. I just learned about 'fuxing' from my niece, it's in the urban dictionary!

Wanda said...

It would be interesting to spend a day in your househole. I would come away smarter!

izzy said...

What a fun one! but a little hard to say- it will take some practice!

maddyrose said...

I have to admit I would have thought it to be a made up word. Now I have to come up with three sentences to use it in so the word will be mine. ;0)

Magic Love Crow said...

I can't believe that is a real word? Crystal, I am always learning something new from you! Oh, guess what? Our carpenter, who is finishing the bathroom, is now using your trick on his jobs! Fabric softener and water ;o) You are famous girl ;o)

Judy Adamson said...

It's not just the television that teaches us new words, Crystal. Since I've started using photoshop, I've had to expand my vocabulary somewhat - I've found out what 'contiguous' and 'rasterizing' means but the one that I'm completely stuck on is 'un-anti-aliasing'! I know it has something to do with jagged edges but that's as far as I get. It's a ridiculous-sounding word and non-photoshop users refuse to believe that I didn't make it up!

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