Gransnet forums


I've learned two new words today

(32 Posts)
MiceElf Tue 17-Sep-13 12:59:47

One is parbuckling and the other is interrobang. I've never come across either of them before, and it's quite a shock to meet two in one day. Usually, when that happens, you notice them all over the place, so I'm on the lookout for both now. We'll see. When I was much younger, I used to faithfully note unfamiliar words and memorise them, but these days, apart from the text in thatbags science links, I don't meet that many. How about you?

gracesmum Tue 17-Sep-13 13:55:47

OK then cleverclogs grin - what do they mean? (So that we can IMPRESS)

gracesmum Tue 17-Sep-13 13:58:27

Or maybe we should guess:
I think "parbuckling" is a bit less than "swashbuckling" - about half, to be more precise. Or else it's what you do when your bumper hits the gatepost gently
"Interrobang" is when you are frightened into answering a qustion on "Today" by someone dropping something very noisy behind you or maybe setting off a firework.

Anybody get any better ideas?

gracesmum Tue 17-Sep-13 13:59:18

got not get was what I meant. [oops] emoticon.

MiceElf Tue 17-Sep-13 14:14:17

He he. I found the answers in the end. Parbuckling is that contraption of ropes and pullers used to haul barrels on and off ships, they used the word to describe the system to right the drowned liner off the Italian coast. And interrobang is an unorthodox punctuation mark which is an amalgam of a question mark and an exclamation mark.

But I prefer your explanation Gracesmum.

MiceElf Tue 17-Sep-13 14:15:21

Pulleys that should be.

moomin Tue 17-Sep-13 14:30:42

Storing 'parbuckling' into the recesses of my brain so I can drop it casually into a conversation . . . sometime wink

thatbags Tue 17-Sep-13 14:42:23

I had come across symbol for interrobangs before, but not the word for them. I think I'd use one of those quite often. I like them.

Parbuckling is new to me too. As well as being parbuckled yesterday by engineers with pulleys, I reckon the reason the Costa Concordia rolled over in the first place is because the rocks parbuckled its hull.

Anne58 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:13:07

I had an email from a writer the other day in response to something I sent to him last year! He had written a column in the telegraph about unusual words, and asked readers to get in touch with any other their favourites. He wrote to say that he had included my suggestion in his latest book which was published last Thursday.

MiceElf Tue 17-Sep-13 15:24:15

Well come on. Share it!

Greatnan Tue 17-Sep-13 15:44:45

I prefer Gracesmum's definitions. smile

FlicketyB Tue 17-Sep-13 22:58:48

We have been watching the Costa Concordia saga with great interest. DH worked/still occasionally works in the marine towage/marine lifting business. He knows the problems, recognised some of the lift barges around the CC and has always had a very high opinion of Italian engineering.

grannyactivist Tue 17-Sep-13 23:12:40

Debouch is my word of the day - have come across it several times recently.

transitive verb
to cause to emerge : discharge
intransitive verb
to march out into open ground <troops debouching from the town>
emerge, issue <rivers debouching into the sea>
— de·bouch·ment noun

gracesmum Tue 17-Sep-13 23:20:42

"debouch" the sound uttered by an upper class gel when a hooray henry (NSIT) with 2 left feet manhandles her round the dance floor?

Anne58 Tue 17-Sep-13 23:55:45

Sorry, went off to do a few things, the curse of only having a desk top!

here is the email:

Dear Rachel & Bill,
I hope you're well. A while ago you very kindly wrote to me, suggesting a word or two for my new book. One of these words in particular I'd been thinking about including for a bit, but your email pushed me over the line and ensured that beauty of a word, CONCUPISCENT, made it into the book.

So I wanted to write to let you know - to say thank you and also to say that the book was published on Thursday last week (it's called HOW TO SOUND REALLY CLEVER) and your name is in the 'acknowledgements' section as a result (at the time, I'm afraid I only read the headline of your email address, so only managed to get in 'Bill' rather than 'Rachel & Bill' - apologies), as a way of thanking you personally.

With much gratitude from a fellow wordsmith and with best wishes,


I was quite surprised as the article that I responded to was in early 2012, but am also grin

absent Wed 18-Sep-13 01:46:20

Concupiscence has always been a favourite word of mine. I think we even had a thread about favourite words on Gransnet and I said so on that. However, I can't imagine how it's got anything to do with sounding "really clever" unless that applies to any word with more than two syllables. grin

gracesmum Wed 18-Sep-13 07:45:43

"Concupiscence" the rationality of waiting in line with others.

MiceElf Wed 18-Sep-13 07:47:49

Gracesmum, I think we should continue this thread with newly discovered words, and then you could publish your book with greatly improved definitions. smile

thatbags Wed 18-Sep-13 08:23:46

gm grin

Greatnan Wed 18-Sep-13 12:16:32

I learn a lot from Countdown - some of the contestants must spend hours just reading dictionaries.

Anne58 Wed 18-Sep-13 13:23:41

Personally I love the new definitions (Uxbridge English Dictionary) section of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue!

MiceElf Wed 18-Sep-13 13:35:51

I e just found a new one:


I'll put the official definition up after Gracesmum has supplied the entertaining one.

gracesmum Wed 18-Sep-13 14:04:53

Is it a bit like "Swansong" but with pre-tadpoles?

MiceElf Thu 19-Sep-13 09:54:07

Brilliant, Gracesmum. Officially they are projections the sides of ships, boats or seaplanes.

annodomini Thu 19-Sep-13 10:42:09

I learn a lot from Countdown too, Greatnan and promptly forget it all. Apologies to the omniscient Susie Dent. grin