Friday, February 11, 2011
I love new and unusual words. I was watching Jeopardy! and learned that "frumb" is another word for "big toe". I posted about it on Facebook and wrote this horrible pun:
"What should you do if you're walking down the road and your big toe falls off?"
Answer: "CALL THE BIG-TOE TRUCK"
I asked to be excused for the pun but noted that it's difficult to work a word like "frumb" into conversation or a joke.
The comments were wonderful and my Facebook friend Susan Wells added: "earworm: a catchy tune that often gets stuck in your head."
I had never heard of the word! I responded, "Oh, Susan, I will NEVER be able to show my enormous gratitude for your introducing me to "EARWORM"!
I learned that "earworm" is a loan transition from the German "OHRWURM" which means "a portion of a song or other music which repeats within one's mind."
There are humorous synonyms for "earworm":
Last night my brother was walking through the house, humming "Pagliacci" (but loudly singing the word "Pagliacci" at the appropriate intervals!) which is certainly amazing since he does not like opera or know Italian. I yelled, "What's that about?" He said that he was watching a TV show and it had "Pagliacci" on it and he couldn't get it out of his head.
EARWORM should not be confused with ENDOMUSIA (musical hallucinations) which is a serious affliction where a person hears music which is not being played.