Posts Tagged ‘words’

Word of the Moment – Feral

February 23, 2009

At a business meeting recently, I ran into an ex-colleague I’d not seen in quite some time.  Now, since last I saw her, I’ve let my hair grow quite a bit longer*.  As I walked into the conference room, she looked at me, then immediately looked away as if I was a total stranger (eh…i’m used to that reaction from women…).  Then followed that cartoon-like slow return look and eyes widening in recognition.

Ex-Colleague – GnuKid!  I didn’t recognize you with your long hair.

GnuKid (rarely one to give a straight reply) – Well, I’ve gone feral.

Ex-Colleague – Huh?  You mean like Will Ferrell?

GnuKid (gritting his teeth and trying not to say something overly sarcastic) – Uh…no.

Luckily, one of ex-colleague’s co-workers came to my rescue and gave her the definition.  It was mostly right on to the definition found in our handy-dandy internet dictionary – –

FERAL:  “having reverted to the wild state, as from domestication”.

I like feeling “Undomesticated”.   Grrrrr…..


*It’s winter.  I’m not looking for that next promotion.  I’m too lazy to go to the barbershop that often.  I sort of like it long.  And even better?  A lady friend likes it long.**

**No, that’s not a euphemism…***

***…well, okay, maybe it is…****

****…or not…you decide for yourself…

Weekly Word – Omphaloskepsis

May 26, 2008

I see you out there, reading the subject line and asking, “Huh?” Now don’t go scurrying to your dictionaries to find out what I’m blithering about this time. I will share, young padawan learner.

This is a hurry scurry world with lots of demands on our time. Rarely do we get to just sit with ourselves. If you’re like me, those spare moments are spent reading blogs or, as I’m doing now, working on my own post. While blogging can be therapeutic to us, we still should spend time with the one person we’re always with…ourselves.

One such method is Omphaloskepsis. Derived from some ancient language like Hittite or East Si-ede*, it roughly translates into ‘Contemplating One’s Navel’. No, not naval, as in “Ahoy, Mate” or “Buy Me A Drink, Sailor?”… navel…belly-button…tummy-tunnel…

Omphaloskepsis is just one way of getting yourself into a meditative state (which is where all the mental healing and revelations are supposed to happen). Concentrating on your navel, while pushing out external annoyances, can help you achieve the ‘nothingness’ required for a good meditate. Sort of like repeating “Om” over and over.

The benefit of meditation, of course, is that even if you don’t have those super flashes of insight (“I remember where my car keys are!”), you usually get a sense of relaxation and calm.

While the phrase ‘contemplating your navel’ is typically attached to this deep self-psychological examination, there is the physicality–or action–of the phrase as well. I would wager a round of good beer or Scotch that many of you engage in the latter. For example–

Our fine cotton and wool clothing will shed tiny bits of fabric which, mysteriously, find their way to take up residence en masse in our navels—the ubiquitous belly lint. I’d further wager that there are likely more than a few of us who, on removing said lint, feel a sense of awe if it’s a big wad… or even share it with our significant others. “Look at the size of this hunk of lint, dear!”**

Or, how many of you have stood in front of a mirror bemoaning the spare tire (bicycle sized for some, monster truck for others) which has snuck its way around our midsections. Then, while standing there, you grab your gut, and your eyes seem to focus on the navel…”Hey, I can make it dance!” or “Look how I can make it talk—‘Hi, Honey, how are you?’.”***

I find that exercising either aspect of omphaloskepsis, whether physical or mental, is a great way to a sense of well being, even if briefly. I recommend you take a few moments sometime today and give it a shot…if even for a minute. You’ll feel better.


*Yeah, I made those up…it’s really from the Greek

**I’ll need to ask for a hand count. Raise ‘em high. Oooo, lots of you.

*** Yep, I need another show of hands…don’t be shy, the rest of the folks can’t see you…seven…eight… yep, a few of you, for sure.

Today’s Word: Perspicacious

May 19, 2008

Now, I’m not some brainiac who knows everything… but I do like words.

Words will catch my eye in a blog or magazine article or whatever. I’ll tuck it away for later use…you know, to impress the boss (because I have to) or scare little children (because I like to).

Sometimes that “tuck it away” gets a little too tucked.

I found myself, one day, with the word ‘perspicacious’ rattling around my head. And it kept coming back to me over and over, throughout the day. I kept thinking, “I should know this. Why don’t I know this?” Finding no chance to hit the dictionary, I was left with continued interruptions on my thinking – – perspicacious… perspicacious… perspicacious…

I finally did get to a dictionary at the end of the day and found:


per – spi – ca – cious [pur-spi-key-shuhs], adjective

  1. acutely insightful and wise
  2. mentally acute or penetratingly discerning


Yep, that was sure me all day long, perspicacious… NOT! [shaking my head].

How ironic…