I learned a new word today!

Actually I suppose it’s fairer to say I learned a new phrase, though the first word in the phrase I already knew, the second was completely new to me.

A bit about me that I may not have already shared: I am NUTS about vocabulary. I absolutely love knowing what words mean. Even if they are ridiculously archaic words that I will never get to drag out in writing or conversation. I just love knowing words and meanings and whenever I spy a shiny new word (or phrase), I snatch it up like a mythical crow and drag it back to the nest in my head. (I say mythical crow because when I was checking what I thought to be true about crows I came across http://coyot.es/thecorvidblog/2013/10/29/crows-and-shiny-objects/ this guy who seemed to know a whole bunch more about crows than I can ever claim to.)

Maybe I should say I’m like Templeton the Rat with the word collecting, though I suppose that wouldn’t really work either because he hoarded all sorts of things in his nest under the trough (even a rotten egg) when actually sent to collect words he didn’t really like it. I guess the English major in me is reaching too hard for a simile here. Point being, I love words. Big words, little words, words that climb on rocks…

Anyway, the word I learned today was courtesy of http://bipolardyke.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/blood-lithium-mindscape/. I love her blog and am happy anytime a new post of hers pops up in my reader.

So the new word/phrase is this: *makes trumpet sound* existential ennui. I will explain the trumpet sound later, complete with YouTube link if I can find one. So existential I knew to mean:

Definition of EXISTENTIAL

1: of, relating to, or affirming existence

2 a : grounded in existence or the experience of existence : empirical
b : having being in time and space

But ennui was brand new to me. In trying to define it, I asked Husband if he knew what it meant. He doesn’t read as much as I do and professes to hate to read, which at first shocked all the bookworms that I knew. but 12 years together have taught me that it’s mostly fiction that he hates reading and not even really that, if it’s in the proper medium (as in he prefers reading off a screen vs paper) and when it comes to the word hoarding, we are quite alike.

But he hadn’t heard of ennui either and that prompted a series of jokes that probably only we think are funny.

me: Do you know what ennui means?

him: Ennui. Ennui? Is that Arnold talking? with accent: I will shoot you ennui!

me: *laughing and also with accent* Maybe also en you eeyah!

So finally, after scanning through a bunch of philosophy pages, which gave me philosophical answers which for me means answers that I’m not really sure were answers, I looked it up on Mirriam Webster.

Full Definition of ENNUI

: a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction : boredom

So putting them together, my best definition of the new phrase is “boredom or lethargy in relation to one’s own existence.”

So, BPdyke ( I wish I knew your real name) you’ve brought much happiness, reading enjoyment and NEW VOCABULARY into my existence and for just that reason, I wish all of those things and more into yours. Your existence, that is, I wish happiness into your existence. Sheesh, you’d think by now this word-hoarding English major would be able to string together a comprehensible sentence.

Now as promised, and explanation of the imaginary trumpet. When my kids were little, there was a series on Nick JR we liked called “Pinky Dinky Doo”. It was created by Jim Jinkins (also the creator of “Doug” and “PB & J Otter” which were other family favorites).

Anyhow, Jinkins wanted kids to be able to improve their vocabulary, so every episode they would introduce a “great big fancy word” and whenever they brought out the great big fancy word, her pet, Mr. Guinea Pig would herald it with his BAH ba ba BAH trumpet. It’s been off the air for a while, but even now, when Daughter and I talk about vocabulary we make the little trumpet noise.

OK, the internet on my phone is cooperating and the internet that I’ve typed all the text in on my computer is being cranky and slow so I’ll do a separate share from my phone for the video. I wanna post this post I’ve been picking at all day before my system crashes all together and deletes my hard typed text.


21 thoughts on “I learned a new word today!

  1. Heheheh awesome! I just read a lot, was a precocious kid and now I’m a pretentious adult. Also, I’m all alooooone and words … well, words are my thing. I wish you happiness too – and your husband sounds cool. Ennui … one time in the mid 90s, I worked in a bar that had a garden with one marijuana plant growing quietly in it. We named it ennui. Er…I’m waffling. Thanks for the truly lovely things you said.


  2. I, too, am a word junkie. I get pretty giddy with new ones. I checked with my 20 year old English major and she didn’t know the definition of ennui. So thank you and BPdyke for sharing.


  3. Happy to know you love learning new words! but i advice not to use plethora or thesaurus or things like that because they chase followers away!


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