In Other Words

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Are you aware that new words are officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary each year?  Now I realize society creates new “expressions” all the time, but I guess I never thought about adding them to the dictionary, (and some I’m not sure we should.)  I figured that just like real estate, the words we have were all we would ever get, or all we would ever need for that matter.

Most of the newly added words for 2018 have been around for awhile, but have now become popular enough in our English “jargon” to earn them entrance into Merriam-Webster. Some of the words are amusing too; like TL; DR, which is text-speak for “too long, didn’t read.” Then there’s Hophead which refers to a beer enthusiast, Zoodle, which is a long strip of zucchini resembling a narrow ribbon of pasta (In other words, a zucchini noodle) and Hangry, meaning irritable or angry because of hunger.

Likewise, we outdoorsmen have given birth to some pretty amusing words over the years that perhaps should also be compiled into some sort of official listing. Here are a few of the more engaging ones I  found : hangers, deer or elk droppings so fresh they “hang” off the bottom of your boots; swampdonkey, a moose or huge old recluse buck deer; mountain-money, toilet paper carried with you to the woods; puny-dwindle, an arrow that falls short of its intended target because of a coat sleeve or other impediment to the bow string, and grab-a-tree, the term given to relieving oneself in the woods, as in “I gotta go grabatree.”

I’d personally like to add three more words to our official listing. You have all heard these numerous times if you watch many hunting and fishing shows on TV. The first is off-a-bit. This word can take several forms like off-a-little or off-a smig. Its’ antonym is off-a-lot, and it’s used to more delicately describe a missed shot with any kind of legal hunting weapon, as in “I had him in my sights and should have dropped him, but evidently I was just offabit.”

The second word is on-some. The antonym of this word is on-none and its often uttered by hunting or fishing guides to their clients just before leaving the lodge or marina. “Let’s go get you onsome fish,” or “Let’s go put you onsome trophy Whitetails.”

And last but not least is my personal favorite that you’ve heard more times than Trump has cans of hairspray if you watch any TV hunting or fishing shows at all, and that’s theres-a-good-one.  Theresagoodone is used to describe any and all manner of quarry pursued by any hunter or fisherman, be it whitetail, walleye, black bear or black bass. When a fisherman’s rod bends double he’ll holler “Oh theresagoodone!” When the buck of a lifetime walks beneath his stand, he’ll whisper “Theresagoodone.” As a spring gobbler makes a beeline for the decoys, the hunter will declare “Theresagoodone,” and so on and so forth. I guess the antonym would be theresabadone, but for some reason, I’ve never heard that word used.

I’m sure we’ve all made up our own new words to describe events, scenes and scenarios, most of them repeatable, but a few probably not. Words are fun and without them I’d have a dickens of a time writing a weekly column. On the other hand, without words my foot would be in my mouth a lot less because I’d have to keep my mouth shut…(Yea right, now theresagoodone!) So in the interest of keeping this column short so it doesn’t become TL; DR, and because I feeling a little Hangry, that’s it for this week. Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors!

Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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