As frequently happens, I was looking up something entirely different in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online when I came across its 2007 Word of the Year contest. WORD contest? Irresistible to an etymology freak…(more on the contest here: http://tinyurl.com/yu5rfv).
The winner for 2007 was “w00t,” an expression of happiness or excitement, usually after a victory of some sort, used in a similar way to woohoo or yay! On Urbandictionary.com I read the following: “’w00t’ was originally an truncated expression common among players of Dungeons and Dragons tabletop role-playing game for ‘Wow, loot!’"
One of the runners-up was “sardoodledom,” which means a play with a contrived melodramatic plot. George Bernard Shaw invented this term while criticizing one of the plays by Victorien Sardou, a 19th century French playwright. The word is thus a composite: Sardou-doodle-dom. On World Wide Words (fantastic website: http://tinyurl.com/avg8t) I read that in the 2007 U.S. National Spelling Bee, this word gave a case of the giggles to one of the young contestants. I can see why…
Another favourite of mine: the adjective "Pecksniffian," which means "unctuously hypocritical." We also have the noun “Pecksniffery.” Love it! From World Wide Words, we learn, or remember!, that Seth Pecksniff, a land surveyor and architect in Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit, “though in appearance the most upright of men who prated about high moral principles and benevolence, was an awful hypocrite, full of meanness and treachery.” Ah yes.
Okay, that’s enough etaoin shrdlu for today!