Thursday, 3 December 2009


Only two days in and I've already used two F-words. Hmm. Should I be using some kind of system? Should each letter of the alphabet be proportionally represented? Maybe I should focus on words that will help me win at scrabble? Oh well, I'll worry about that tomorrow. Today's dictionary browsing has already yielded the delightful "mumpsimus":

mumpsimus n a view or opinion stubbornly held, even when shown to be misguided; a person holding such a view, or one adhering stubbornly to old ways. [Origin from an ignorant priest's blunder (in an old story) for the Latin word sumpsimus, we have received, in the mass] Chambers, 1998

The only reason this word exists is because a priest said the word wrong in mass. That's already brilliant, but particularly so because it wasn't even in real life - it was a fictional priest in a story. Also, I love the definition. It implies that when everyone pointed out his mistake he just put his fingers in his ears, sang "la laa laa" loudly and pretended he'd meant to say it that way all along.

I also like the fact that it can describe the opinion as well as the person. So it could be either "There's no shaking that Louis Walsh from his mumpsimus" or "There's no shaking that mumpsimus, Louis Walsh". I can already think of twenty places on the internet where this word is going to come in very handy.


  1. Love this idea will think for something to do by the weekend and sign up then.

    But as for your proportionally representing all the alphabet i thing you should go the opposite way and say be dammed to some letters and ignore them completely. I am looking at you vowels.

  2. It even works as an adjective: 'Don't go getting all mumpsiy/mumpsical with ME young laydee!'


  3. This got featured in RPS's sunday papers! Congrats!