Saving ‘Snollygoster’


Snollygoster

[snol-ee-gos-ter] n. Slang

One, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.

Origin:
1855–60;  origin uncertain; Perhaps alteration of snallygaster, a mythical beast said to prey on poultry and children

It’s a silly sounding word, certainly, but it’s my silly sounding word. Let me back track a bit and explain.

Today I came across a website called Save the Words. The site, powered by Oxford Dictionaries, states its mission as such:

Each year, hundreds of words are dropped the English language.

Old words, wise words, hard-working words. Words that once led meaningful lives but now lie unused, unloved and unwanted.

Today, 90% of what we write is communicated by only 7,000 words!

If not for yourself, then for generations yet to come. Now, you may ask, “What have future generations done for us lately?”

Well, not much. But one day they’ll be grateful. You never know, they may even have a word or two to say about you.

If you love words as much as we do, find room for them again in conversations and written communication. Each time you use one of these words, you are keeping it alive in the English language.

And so I went on the website, clicked around, and found this magnificent sounding word: Snollygoster. Not only is it fun to say, but I’ve already thought of plenty applications in relation to our ever-flawed government (but that’s a discussion for another day).

I highly encourage others to go and adopt a word. With plenty to pick from, I love the idea of helping to keep a word “alive.” The English language is so rich; it’s a shame we don’t take fool advantage of it. They even email you a adoption certificate and offer the chance to purchase your very own word-shirt. I mean, how more official can it get?

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