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Amazing Words

Richard Lederer

Different ways to spell 'fish' after GBS's 'ghoti' gh as in enough, o as in women and ti as in nation

'phusi' ph as in physics, u as in busy, si as in pension
'ffess' off, pretty, issue
'ughyce' laugh, hymn, ocean
'Pfeechsi' Pfeiffer, been, fuschia
'pphiapsh' sapphire, marriage, shaw
'fuiseo' fat, guilt, nauseous
'ftaisch' soften, villain,schwa
'ueiscia' lieutenant (Br pronunciation), forfeit, conscious

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Golf - 'A good walk spoiled' (Mark Twain) 'If you watch a game it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf.'(Bob Hope)'Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun. If you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart.' (Arthur Daley)

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The word mondegreen was coined by Sylvia Wright in a column in Harper's in 1954. She heard the lyrics of an old Scottish ballad as "Oh, they have slain the Earl of Murray, and Lady Modegreen", when in fact it was "They have slain the Earl of Murray, and laid him on the green."

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The word nerd first appeared in print in 1950, in Dr Seuss's children's book If I Ran The Zoo: And then just to show them, I'll sail to Ka-Troo, and bring back an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, a nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker too.

'Run' has 645 different meanings. Takes up half as much dictionary space again as it's nearest rival, 'put'.

Obvious vocational names like butcher and tanner, but also:
broker - one who breaks open wine casks
bursar - one who controls the purse
chauffeur - stokes fires of a steam engine
coroner - officer of the crown
grocer - one who sells by the gross
nurse - one who nourishes
plumber - works with lead (plumbum)
secretary - to whom secrets are entrusted

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