Hello Word Nerds! I hope this Wednesday treats you well. If you remember, last week I have you a very short word—duff—and asked you whether you knew what it meant. It might only have a few letters, but it is a very versatile little word. Here are all of its various meanings:
1. a boiled or steamed pudding, often containing fruit;
2. the partly decayed organic matter on the forest floor;
3. fine coal;
4. buttocks – ‘get off your duff’;
5. (British) inferior; worthless.
So, there you go. A word with more meanings than it has letters!
This week, we’re going from small to big with the word indubitable. This week’s word is inspired by Nora Bradford, the heroine of Becky Wade’s new release True to You. A genealogist, historian, and book lover, Nora has some endearing quirks, and I love the way Becky captures her voice in this novel. One of those quirks is her use of slightly-larger-than-normal words. Like indubitable:
indubitable – too evident to be doubted; unquestionable
In Nora’s defense: “Indubitable was the perfect word in that context. It communicated my meaning exactly.” The word takes on a life of its own in this novel, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out how and why!
Personally, I can sympathise with Nora. I can remember admonishing a boy in my class to stop being so derogatory one day. He looked at me in puzzlement for a few moments before saying, “Why do you always have to use such big words? What does that even mean?”
Do you have an indubitable penchant for ‘big words’? Or maybe you know someone else who does. Do tell!