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.
8 thoughts on “Wednesday Word Tangle”
Ha ha, I’m totally with you on doing! (doing! doing!)
And you’re right. It’s impossible to say blancmange and not sound morose. I tried to say it in my most upbeat voice. It doesn’t work. Extraordinary.
Ah, the power of the English language. I think it’s the ‘monge’ at the end that sounds depressed. Of course, the French would pronounce it ‘monjay’ which automatically lifts it.
I must look for words that make you sound happy too, just for balance!
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Thank you for making me laugh today!
Hi Helen, thanks for dropping in. Such a good word and sadly neglected, I think. 🙂
I, too, love words! This post made me so happy?
Me too! Got to love the strangeness, the complexity and the randomness of the English language. I’ll be posting more of my favourite words soon 🙂
Hi! I really liked this post! I also like random words 🙂 I don’t look up in paper dictionaries anymore, though..
Sometimes people asked me “what’s your favorite word in English/Polish?”, it was fun looking for nice words in my mind, but even better sharing them with the rest of people.
It’s so nice to find out how many people love words! In a world where everything changes so quickly it’s great to find a word, to think of its history. They’re like specks of the past, rattling through your head.
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