Monday, October 22, 2007

Improve Your Vocabulary The Kerry Way

So I have a bunch of words I've been working into conversation lately because, hey--I enjoy being inscrutable, and I like being creative.

Sidework: That mindless stuff that you do on the side of whatever your main duties at the moment are--for instance, weeding is sidework for reference. Sometimes, no one wants help, so you discard books and stamp them cancelled for want of not being bored out of your mind. I took this from Peg Bracken's awesome ettiquette book, I Try to Behave Myself, where she advises having a stash of sidework on you at all times so you can distract yourself from the urge to run your mouth at annoying acquaintances. Or slap them.

Roundheels: A nicer way of saying slut. I used this in an email to MFA Jane recently. I was referring to myself.

Brickbat: This is a title to a rather bittersweet Billy Bragg song. I was curiousenough to look it up and it's a word meaning a cutting critical remark or dig. I love it. It's also "a fragment of brick used as a weapon."

Shanty vs. Lace Curtain: I honestly think the conflict and pull between being shanty and lace curtain Irish describes my life perfectly. I am "lace curtain" when I sneer at lingerie showers and money dances and when I take pride in my cashmere sweaters and Master's degree. I'm so shanty when I haven't washed the kitchen floor for a month.

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