Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Words I like

I met this word again - shenanigans.  The first time I heard this was in the movie "Juno", where Ellen Page delivered an interesting dialogue about this word.  Something like, "...what other kind of shenanigans can I get into"  Then the movie was a hit.

I wonder if this word exists ages ago, or is it just me -- A late bloomer.

Then again, I come across this shenanigan word in one of the newspaper article, "The automation project has been a sideshow to the ongoing shenanigans of sitting President.."  Not interesting way of using the word.  However, one or the other, it means the same thing.

So since this word smithens me, I'm flagging it.

                   Shenanigans  -  n., A deceitful trick or mischievous act; a prank.  Usually use in plural 

  (Source: Answers.com)


Of unknown origin

Etymologists aren't sure of the origin of this word, but if you go by how many  Irish pubs are named Shenanigans or Shenanigan's, the word is probably of Irish origin.

The Oxford English Dictionary shows the very first citation of the word from an 1855 San Francisco publication. The California Gold Rush began in 1849 and there were plenty of Irishmen panning for gold there.

But it's still only a hypothesis and until we're sure, we'll have to quote Mark Twain who once said, "I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know."

"Germany's constitution sets a very high bar for dissolving parliament in order to avoid a repeat of Weimar Republic-era shenanigans that helped Adolf Hitler come to power." — Germany Paves the Way for Elections; Der Spiegel (Hamburg, Germany); Jul 22, 2005.

So if someone is showing too much decitful trick, it can be referred to as shenaniganful, or shenaniganfully.  If too less, then - shenaniganless.  Or maybe, how about shenaniganly - "describing deceitful/playful tricks"...

Just like my other favorite word - Juxtapose (juxtaposition, juxtaposing or juxtaposes). I've learned this word in my Business English Review Course. And out of the many words that's been introduced to us, this is the one that stands out to me.

Juxtapose - tr.v., To place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
(Source: Answers.com)

No ethymology. So I guess, it just pops out of nowhere.

Anyhow, learning new words is fun.  It can buggle mind or become a powerful political statement.  But, what if they don't understand it.  Well, just make sure you remember what it means, and be ready to tackle it anytime they ask you to elaborate.

Being a language smart wouldn't require you to do shenanigans.  You just have to juxtapose what you mean, so they wouldn't think that you're too wordy or weird.