November 16, 2009

I’ve been spending my time on photography of late and neglected my vocabulary.  Ah the work of self-betterment.

This word from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Man of the Crowd brought me back though.   It is an archaic word for clothing from the old French “to fit out,” from the Latin habilis or “handy.”


Catawampus (Caddywumpus)

November 6, 2009

UPDATE: Actually the word is Catawampus.  Cata- as in across (a la cattycorner), wampus, possibly from wampish (meaning to wave about to and fro).

A wonderful word that came this week’s episode of the Office.

Caddywumpus means horribly crooked.  Oddly, however, I can find no origin for it.  It does not appear in any traditional dictionary, even some of the less conventional ones.  The word did appear in Urbandictionary and is the title of many of different blogs.

The word reminds me of wumpus, which was a foul smelling creature in the early text video game Hunt the Wumpus.  It was a maze game, the highlight of which was the line “I smell a wumpus.”  I still say that whenever I see my brother.

If anyone knows anything about the origins of the word, let me know!