Ever notice how every once in awhile you run across a word that sounds really fuckin’ badass, only to discover later on that it’s actual meaning is equal parts pathetic and absurd?
I don’t know if it’s just me, but this happened to me a whole helluva’ lot when I was little.
That being said, the following is a brief list of some words fitting the above description, most of which I first encountered as a young badger.
Definition: Constructed, arranged, or marked like a net or network.
You know what the longest snake in the world is?
Animal kingdom factoids like this was really important to me as a kid, but apparently learning the meaning of words like reticulated wasn’t; ’cause it took more than a few years for me to discover it’s definition.
I remember thinking the word reticulated meant something along the lines of “really fuckin’ big,” or “seriously fuckin’ savage.”
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Reticulated Python’s name simply referred to the characteristics of the pattern drawn across it’s scales.
Definition: An extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”
It refers to something crazy fuckin’ awesome (and destructive) that most likely requires a super combo meter to perform, that’s what!
At some point in my struggle to define the word hyperbole; I came to the conclusion that:
“Hey, Magneto has his Hyper-Grab; maybe there’s some sort of super combo version of it I haven’t seen called Hyper-Bow-Lee!”
Yeah, I played a lot of fighting games back in the day…
Actually, I’m pretty sure the first time I ran across the word was in written form; whereupon I most likely pronounced it as “hyper-bowl.”
I consider myself a pretty good speller nowadays; but back in the day I was a shithead just like everyone else.
Definition: Having two sides equal.
That’s all I needed to hear to start thinking isosceles was the coolest fuckin’ word ever.
Sure, I learned it’s meaning at some point in math class; but that doesn’t mean I ever made any attempt to retain that knowledge.
You see, numbers and I have feuding like an Irishman and, well… Another Irishman, for as long as I can remember.
That is to say, despite my Azn-ness; math has always been one of my weaknesses.
Despite this, thanks to Seinfeld; I’ve maintained a healthy relationship with the word isosceles.
Unlike most of the other words on this list, I never came up with my own interpretation of it’s meaning.
In all honesty, from the time I first heard it up until the present, there really hasn’t been a time when I was unfamiliar with it’s meaning; but even so, for such a slick-ass sounding word, isosceles has a pretty pathetic meaning.
Above: “Abdication” at it’s finest….
Definition: To relinquish formally a high office or responsibility.
Well, I did; more than a few times at that, and it was this episode of the show that first introduced me to the word abdicate.
Just like I’d imagine the character Eugene felt, for whatever reason; the name abdicator sounded like a believable superhero to me.
Then again, I’m pretty sure any word that ends with an “-or” has the appropriate amount of manly “oomph” to it to work as a a superhero name.
Anyway, I remember that the actor that plays the abdicator actually learns the meaning of the word abdicate at some point during the episode; leading to me first hearing the word and learning it’s definition in the space of 20 minutes or so.
While I know the definition well now, thanks to Hey Arnold!; to this day I still get a kick out of thinking back to the brief time in my life when the word abdicate referred to “beasting on someone mightily in a Schwarzennegger-ian fashion.”
Definition: A polyhedron with 12 faces.
The above image represents what I thought dodecahedron meant before my math teacher had to go ahead an’ spoil it for me.
Yeah, I was a pretty fucked up/retarded kid.