Don’t Call Me Callipygian

I came across a post on a pretty funny blog called Catharsis recently called Top 20 Words to Revive in 2013. Many of the words on the list surprised me because I use them fairly often and I had to face the fact, yet again, that I’ll never be in step with all of the current trends.

Ah well, I suppose I won’t be thrown in the hoosegow for my faux pas, though I confess to feeling a tad discombobulated as I perused the list.

Since when is rapscallion a “has been” word? I lovingly refer to my hubby that way on a regular basis.

And melancholy? I used that word in the title of a recent blog post, and if I haven’t said it out loud I’ve certainly used it silently in my mind more than once so far this year.

There have been a few kerfuffles in the news these days that I consider to be a load of malarkey, and the talking heads who go on and on with their cockamamie discussions only serve to flummox me.

There are some words on the list I don’t know that I’ve ever used, but now that I’ve seen them I want to.

Snollygoster. For some reason that one brings to mind a dashing young man in a dark suit and a fedora, standing beside a shiny black Model T with his hands in his pockets and whistling a tune. There’s a story there.

Ballyhoo. I think of the movie South Pacific and that island of paradise, Bali Ha’i when I say that one.

I think it would behoove us to not be so quick to put these grand old words out to pasture quite so quickly.

Not to beleaguer the point, but I plan to make a point of continuing to use these words. I can’t stand the thought of words that sound great, look good on the page, and are fun to say disappearing from our language. Kind of makes me run out and buy one of those “word of the day” desk calendars.

Oh yes, and if you really want to call me callipygian, well, who am I to argue. 🙂


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Dear Linda, you have me smiling with this posting! Like you, I use many of these 15 words on a regular basis. But I have to admit that I’ve never seen the word “snollygoster” before. I can see that I need to pull out the dictionary.

    Well it’s in neither my 1954 nor my 2003 dictionary. Nor is it in my 1963 “Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary.” What does it mean?

    1. According to the post where I found the list here’s the definition for snollygoster:

      snollygoster, noun – a clever, unscrupulous person

  2. Having well-shaped buttocks, LOL! I suppose it depends on how you define, “well.” If by well, you mean gargantuan, I would qualify. 🙂

    Anyway, great post. Most of these words are already in my repertoire too however, collywobbles is an unfamiliar term for what I lived with for decades. For fear of being labeled loquacious, I’ll leave it at that.

    Thanks for making me smile.

    1. LOL, Grace! Well yes, my tongue was firmly in cheek when I suggested I might be described as callipygian too!

  3. Well, I found snollygoster in our 30 year old dictionary, but not callipygian.

    1. Ah…so maybe snollygoster is truly one of the old ones…since so few of us have heard the word before.

  4. I suppose I really do need to get out more. For I had no idea that several of those words had gone out of style.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one, Jerry! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Linda,
    I LOVE this post! You are truly a wordsmith, m’lady. So glad to see you use these frequently!

    1. You inspired me, Laura!

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