Sunday, 28 August 2011

Gombric and Ousali

In between taking a lengthy, health-improving walk in the park and waiting for the bee feed to cool down so we could go and feed the smaller of the four colonies and give them a fighting chance of surviving Winter, I did a bit of blog reading, and left a couple of comments here and there like you do.

And one of my favourite bits about leaving comments is the weird verification words you have to type in to prove...hang on, what exactly do they prove? I'll ask Andy...okay, Andy says it's to stop automated programmes leaving comments on blogs, because you have to read the word and type it in. Ah, so it proves you are human! Or have opposable thumbs. Or gained the majority of your education before 1980. I see.

So, two of the words I had to type in today were 'gombric' and 'ousali.' And I wondered if they are or were actual words with real meanings or if they are purely random made-up jobbies. So I had a look in the dictionary. Nothing for 'gombric' but I did find 'gombeen' which is an Irish term for a usury or moneylender, and 'gongoozler' which is someone who stares curiously at something. Like cats. Not staring at cats, I mean. Cats doing staring, as in the sentence, 'What's that cat gongoozling at?' (Can you turn it into a verb? I don't know. I don't care. I just did.)

'Ousali' was no more successful. There wasn't even anything interesting on the pages where 'ousali' would have been had it been a proper word. Except maybe 'ottava rima' which is a stanza of eight lines of 10 or 11 syllables rhyming abababcc. Filed that one away for future teaching use though.

I like the words 'gombric' and 'ousali.' I think they should have meanings. Therefore I am going to give them meanings. Choose whichever you prefer and apply accordingly. Choice is the order of the day. Unlike dab, which is Fish of the Day, and aubergine, which is vegetable of the day which reminds me, I have three in the fridge that need using tout-de-suite.


Gombric - a sense of solemnity e.g aunt Sylvia was giggling during the funeral oration; her sister Maud thought she should be more gombric.

Gombric - a type of beetle native to Kent e.g Mrs Brown screamed as the gombric ran across the dahlia borders but Mrs Pumphrey was glad of the extra protein.

Gombric - layers of tannin that build up on the inside of your tea-pot (and presumably your stomach) e.g 'I'm afraid you've got a touch of the gombric, Mrs Fishcake. Have you cleaned your tea-pot recently?'

Ousali - the sharp pain and resulting damage received from treading on bits of cat litter/ Lego/ the plug on the vacuum cleaner e.g 'Will you pick up your toys, Tarquin? Your stickle bricks are going to cause serious ousali one day.'

Ousali - the layer of oil found on top of pesto, tahini paste and other such condiments e.g add some more ousali before you screw on the cap or there will be mould before Christmas.

Ousali - tension e.g Carol could sense the ousali in the room as she asked for volunteers to cover the Bank Holiday evening shift. Also, an unhealthy trance - 'Denise asked Andy an important question but received no reply because he was watching Doctor Who and in a state of ousali.'

There you go! New words, new meanings. I hope they'll make the Oxford English Dictionary one day, along with 'tulipine' which is lying on your stomach on the floor and waving your legs waftily
in the air.

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