A few years ago, I signed up for “A Word A Day,”
which- as hinted in the name- is an e-mail service through which you receive a brand new word, complete with definition and suggested usage and everything, in your inbox each day. Since I like words and stuff, it’s kind of fun (you know, in that nerdy, geeky kind of fun that is really not all that much fun the more you think about it). And while I don’t usually remember the words too well or really ever start throwing them into my writing or speech with any regularity (so as to avoid being punched in the face for being too fancy), I like being reminded that there are, like, a whole shitload of words out there besides the ones most of us tend to use all the time. This language of ours- it really is full of possibilities (for example, there are probably several other words I could have just used right there).
Recently, the word of the day was coprolite
. To my ear, coprolite sounds like some sort of futuristic building material, something one might find on the space shuttle or in the lining of a bulletproof vest. As it turns out, however, coprolite is a word meaning fossilized excrement or- as one might say on the streetz- seriously old shit.
Delighted by this new word, I decided to investigate a bit and found that if you find yourself in Yorkshire, England, you see 1000 year-old Viking coprolite on display at the JORVIK Viking Centre (note: the level of excitement I am feeling right now just knowing that somewhere in the world there is a viking center is something for another post altogether). Scientists have analyzed the Viking shit and determined that the Vikings, despite all their apparent hard living, appear to have enjoyed a balanced diet that included lots of vegetables like leeks, cabbages, and beans. The scientists go on to say that the Vikings most likely acheived their “5-a-day” target, which I first thought referred to going #2 five times a day (impressive at any time in history if you ask me) but turns out refers to having 5 servings of vegetables a day (not as fun).
I was surprised to find that the Vikings managed to find time for such healthy eating, you know, what with all the raping and pillaging and stuff they were up to (by all accounts, they could be total dicks sometimes). And as for the five shits a day- I still say if anyone could have pulled it off it would have been the Vikings. Those were some mofos who really lived life to the fullest. Just look at the helmets- it really seems like it was good times all the time with that bunch. Who’s with me?
Getting back to the Viking crap, however, I am happy to report that it is on permanent display at the JORVIK Viking Centre according to their website
, which I guess isn’t really all that surprising. I mean, after all, who’s gonna wanna move that shit?
Another word I enjoyed recently through AWAD e-mails was pusillanimous
, which means “lacking courage; timid,” which is to say “to be a pussy.” Some people frown upon using the word pussy in every day speech (you know, cuz it seemingly refers to lady parts), but now that we know it’s true derivation we can say it with confidence. Am I right or am I right? Thanks, AWAD- you guys are totally not pussies! Keep up the good work!Dave Hill