Welcome to Word Nerd Wednesday. If you caught last week’s post you’ll remember we were discussing the word slangwhanger; or more correctly, I put the word out there and asked you to tell me what you thought it meant.
Some people were definitely on the right track with their definitions, and others were very creative! But now the time has come for me to reveal the truth. So without further ado, here is the definition of slangwhanger:
A slangwhanger is a loud, abusive speaker or an obnoxiously offensive writer.
The slang part of the word is a good clue to its meaning, although it carries its original meaning of vulgar speech rather than simply meaning ‘colloquial’ as it tends to today. The whang part has some interesting origins in Old and Middle English (and you can read more about that at alphadictionary), but it essentially came to mean ‘to lash with a thong’. Hence, a slangwhanger was someone who lashed out with vulgar speech.
I’m sure each of us can think of some examples of slangwhanging in recent history! Unfortunately…
But what does the Bible say about how we should speak? Plenty! And none of it involves slangwhanging:
The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. ~ Proverbs 13:3
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. ~ Colossians 4:6
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. ~ Ephesians 4:29
He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. ~ Proverbs 17:27
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will protect them. ~ Proverbs 14:3
Here’s your challenge for today. What word can you come up with that accurately describes the kind of speech the Bible exhorts us to use? Be creative! Let’s show the slangwhangers how it’s done 😉