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Between Friends

Welcome to our monthly column,
written by our beloved Carol Cail. 

Read more of her witty wonderful words
on her website: 
carolcail.com 

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  • October 01, 2014 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    One of the perks of sorting books for the Friends’ various sales is that you earn free books for your time and trouble.  A book I recently claimed is Word Nerd by Barbara Ann Kipfer, a collection of interesting words-thousands of them-their meanings and origins. Since you obviously like to read, you would probably enjoy browsing this 570-word entertainment.  Following are a few samples.

    • The word kangaroo probably came from the Aborigines word ganjurro, which meant “large black kangaroo.” A more fanciful story is that Captain Cook asked the name of that hopping animal and was told “kangaroo,” but Cook didn’t know that “kangaroo” meant “I don’t know.”
    • Hexanol is the chemical that gives freshly mowed grass that wonderful smell.
    • A lovely synonym for snowflake is snow-blossom.
    • What is the only letter in the alphabet that takes three syllables to say?  (Are you humming the song to get to the answer?)  See below.
    • If you have a skylight that can’t be opened, it’s a deadlight.
    • The only word in the English language that consists of two letters used three times is “deeded.”
    • The sound of a sword drawn from its sheath is a wheep.  (Can’t you just hear that?)
    • The single supercontinent before continental drift was Pangaea.
    • The only fifteen-letter word that’s spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

    The Longmont Library doesn’t have Word Nerd in the catalog, but two other titles by Dr. Kipfer about language are in the collection.  And if you have a modicum (Latin, literally a short amount of time) and aren’t afraid to moil (work hard), click here to become a sorter.

    Answer: W

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