: whelmed by prefixes :

During an image search the other day I came across an illustration entitled ‘vomit.’ I found that puzzling, since the keyword I’d used was ‘relocate.’ What the heck does one have to do with the other? Well, nothing, is the conclusion I reached after wasting a whole bunch of time and effort.

However, a synonym of vomit is regurgitate, which got me thinking. If regurgitate means to expel or eject, what does gurgitate mean? Swallow? Absorb? No. The shocking truth is, there’s no such word as gurgitate. None. Not in any dictionary I found, anyway. Doesn’t that just beg the question: how can you possibly regurgitate something that you haven’t gurgitated?

So I, the whirly girl, hereby coin the term gurgitate. It’s officially official. I’ll gurgitate lunch, I’ll gurgitate facts, I’ll gurgitate my heart out, I’ll even gurgitate my words — whatever is necessary. As God is my witness, I will never eat again. I will gurgitate forevermore.

See what fun it is to remove prefixes? The English language offers all kinds of splendid opportunities to create new, interesting words and phrases. Some are even actual words, such as kempt and couth and compos mentis, and those are called orphan positives. They add a nice, unexpected twist to any conversation. But don’t overlook the unsanctioned words, the ones you make up on your own, like crepit and descript and combobulate.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m totally hausted after such brilliant work. Time to celebrate.

copyright © 2018 the whirly girl



10 Responses to “: whelmed by prefixes :”

  1. stoneyfish

    Dear Whirly Girl,

    I just had to write to say that was delightful! I never knew playing with words could be such fun.

    It reminds me, for some reason, of a UK newspaper that used to publish letters from ‘Disguted of Chelmsford’.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Gusted of Guildford

    Liked by 2 people

    • the whirly girl

      Dear Gusted of Guildford,

      I’m so happy you’re gusted, you clever man. It came as quite a surprise to me, as well — the fun thing. Who knew, right?

      Yours Very Truly,



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