|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.