I love random words.
It can be the most ordinary, every day word that makes me chuckle. Sometimes ‘doing’ looks like ‘doing!’, the sound of someone leaping off a diving board, or a ‘Shatterproof‘ ruler being really put to the test during a particularly boring science lesson.
How about the word ‘barroom’? That’s not a place to drink fermented vegetable juice, but the noise my son used to make as he drove his toy cars round the sitting room carpet.
But this post isn’t about me making myself giggle as my brain melts around language. This is about celebrating randomness. So today’s winning random word is ‘BLANCMANGE.’
You have to love this word for several reasons. It’s the name of a milk jelly that no one really makes any more, but was quite the height of sophistication in the post war period. The kind of thing Fanny Craddock tortured into the shape of a kangaroo and decorated with swirls of luridly- coloured mashed potato, angelica and glace cherries luminous enough to use as head lights.
It was also the name of an 80s synthpop band- remember ‘Living on the Ceiling?’
But most of all, I love the way that this very French word has been totally bastardised by English pronunciation. We don’t even bother to pronounce the ‘anc’ in ‘blanc’, but have changed it into something like ‘blur’, before having a rough stab at the ‘monge’.
I love this word because it actually makes the speaker sound depressed- you try saying it and sounding happy. You have to admire the power of a word that can change your mood whilst you say it.
So, the ‘Wednesday Word Tangle’ word of the day goes to BLANCMANGE for demonstrating beautifully how the English can snatch a word from its owners and mangle it into something of their own.