a fountain of useless information

help deskI have an inexhaustible supply of irrelevant knowledge, much more than my fair share, so I’m happy to pass along nuggets whenever I can. Now, for instance.

I stumbled across a new word the other day: thewy. It is an adjective, a derivative of thew (often thews), and Old English of unknown origin. Unknown probably because no one wants the blame for such a clanker. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, thew is a strongman_whtnoun meaning sinew or muscle. The New Oxford American Dictionary, meanwhile, describes it as poetic/literary.

Egads, poetic? Thewy brings to mind nothing so much as a hog caller with a lisp. Is that poetic? No, it’s discordant and off-putting. When I think of poetry, I think of lyrical, mellifluous words like whisper and matins. Or apricity, a charming expression meaning the warmth of the winter sun. That’s poetry, not thewy. Yet apricity is long unused, labeled archaic, and abandoned to the mists of time. While thewy lives on.

Oy. | exclamation. (see oy vey.  late 19th cent.: Yiddish, literally ‘oh woe.’)

oycopyright © 2016 little ittys

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