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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

gu words

While electronically stomping through my Webster’s collection of words, I happened upon several in the same section – gu – that caught my interest. At first glance there didn’t seem to be a way that these words could relate to each other but after further reflection and second thoughts maybe they do.

The word gulosity means greediness. The word I see as related – cousin by marriage – is guile, which is defined as insidious cunning in attaining a goal; crafty or artful deception; or duplicity. While these words are possibly not from the same root word, gulosity will more than likely be wrapped up in guile in order to attain its desires.

Guff, which is empty or foolish talk and/or nonsense – as well as insolent talk, can happen before, during or after the gulosity and/or guile. In fact, guff is sometimes the way these two words get their own way.

I feel the word gumption is sometimes misdefined as having a direct correlation with these first three words. This because it means initiative and resourcefulness along with courage and spunk and is further defined as having common sense and shrewdness. But rather than being an ally of gulosity, guile and guff, gumption is what someone needs to deal with the actions and results of these greedy, deceptive and insolent words.

A guerdon is a reward, recompense, or requital. The reward part of this definition can be good or bad, mostly dependent on the morals or lack thereof used to get this guerdon. It does seem sometimes that greedy, sneaky people get way more good rewards than they deserve but what goes around comes around. Recompense adds to this – to make payment for work done or even injury sustained. The requital part of the meaning is an action in return for service but also can be retaliation for a wrong or an injury. A guerdon can be the come-uppance of gulosity, guile and guff.

To guffaw is to laugh loudly and boisterously, which is sometimes done when the good guys or guyettes finally come out ahead and get their guerdon. The opposite of this type of laughter is the titter, which means to giggle, laugh softly or snicker. Somewhere between these two is the chortle, which is to chuckle gleefully.

Gumbo is a soup of chicken or seafood, greens, and seasonings, usually thickened with okra. The definition also applies to okra itself. If this delectable dish is properly made and seasoned, it will possibly cause at least a chortle and maybe even a guffaw. I have personally grown okra in my veggie garden for over 30 years and while I don’t remember a lot of laughter, big smiles did result when I was picking this veggie – but I don’t recall ever calling it gumbo.

A gull is any of various long-winged aquatic birds of the family Laridae, of worldwide distribution, typically white with gray or black upper wings and back. And let me add here that gulls will eat almost anything, even gumbo, if it is offered.

While driving into the Bi-Lo parking lot, I noticed two misplaced sea gulls on the pavement. As I drove by they hardly took notice except to take a few quick steps to make sure they were out of the path of my truck. As I watched, one of them took flight and started slowly to circle the other. It could have been saying by this action that it was sorry it misled the other and missed the ocean. The other seemed to be rather obstinate and pouting about the whole fiasco of their flight.

The really amazing thing to me is the way God made these and other birds to find their way over the thousands of miles they fly. Plus all these words got tied together and the tying was enjoyed. ec


Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Thanks. I have learned a few new words. Now all I have to do is develop a post in which I can use them!

3/30/2006 12:46:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - It amazes me sometimes when I peruse the dictionary at the words that I had not heard of, didn't use a lot or weren't even sure they were really a word - maybe I need to do that more. ec

3/30/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I just realized that I sometimes use the expression, "No guff?" Now I know what it means. :)

3/30/2006 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger B.J.W. said...

Will help my scrabble game, thanks, Betty

3/30/2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

AC - I had always heard that in the expression 'Don't give me any guff', but I didn't know it was an official word until I stumbled up on it.

betty white - Also would help in crossword puzzles, I had never heard of a couple of those. ec

3/30/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger grannyfiddler said...

ever thought of making crossword puzzles? you'd be a whiz... might have to reccommend a good dictionary to those of us who only neophite (or is it neophyte?) semantic gurus.

always enjoy your wordplay.

i heard a preacher once explain the 'unjust desserts' gained by unscrupulous. he claimed that, because God is so loving, He lets them have the material things they so ardently desire, because there'll be nothing good for them in the afterlife. not sure i agree, but it's food for thought.

3/30/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Hey great. Once you get your computer to delete your brambles, you can start making a living with the puzzles.

Thanks for the comment today.

3/30/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

grannyfiddler - There are several hard copies of dictionaries around but the main one I use is one that is installed in my computer. It is a Webster's talking dictionary - even pronounces the words.

granny - It didn't work on the brambles, I've been out there creating havoc in a prickly situation several days this week. ec

3/30/2006 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

Its great to know I am not the only one who reads the dictionary for fun!

The one that surprised me a few years back was that you can spell the letters. I believe it was the spelling for "H" that I had stumbled across. For some silly reason,it was something I had never considered!

3/30/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

lis - The Webster's and I have had many meaningful chats. :) I had seen spelling for several letters - mostly in crossword puzzles. ec

3/30/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger adannells said...

I finally know what chortle means! I read it all the time in book and have never decided to look it up. Now I can picture exactly what a character in a book is doing when they chortle! Thanks! LOL! :)

3/31/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

adannells - The dictionary is a place I enjoy walking through on occasion. ec

3/31/2006 02:47:00 PM  

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