Tuesday, December 28, 2010




: to move with a clumsy heavy tread

Scholars believe GALUMPH is a hybrid of "gallop" and "triumphant" as pertaining to its first use in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass. Carroll uses GALUMPH in the passage during which the "Beamish Boy" slays the "Jabberwock":

One, Two! One, two. And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went GALUMPHING back.

Carroll was known for devising his own poetic vernacular, including other words such as:

brillig: the time of boiling dinner; the close of the afternoon
slithy: slime + lithe = smooth and active
mimsy: miserable and miserable, thus unhappy
borogove: an extinct wingless parrot that builds nests under sundials and lives off veal

He was especially fond of the portmanteau, or blend of two pre-existing words and meanings.

For a fairly comprehensive list of portmanteaus, see here. This spectrum stretches from because to beefalo, although the list-makers miss the boat on words like bacne and spork, which somehow didn't make it. Wikipedia has a decent list, too.

The best one I have come up with (not as to say someone hasn't thought of it already somewhere else) is boredinary (boring + ordinary).

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