Hey ..... who are you calling a Ninnyhammer?

Reblogger Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

As an immigrant, I sometimes stumble upon words that I do not know. But what a fun was to find out that others did not know some words, too.

Lyn put together one of the most entertaining classses I have ever been to. Want to know if you know English? Try it right now.

Even if you do not know every one of the words, you will like thhis blog anyway

Original content by Lyn Sims

Brush up on your Rare and Amusing Insults - Amaze your friends, belittle your enemies with your knowledge of the English lauguage!

#1: Cockalorum
Definition:  a boastful and self-important person; a strutting little fellow   (Oh, Congress!)

#2: Lickspittle
Definition: a fawning subordinate; a suck-up

About the word: lickspittle keeps company with bootlicker ("someone who acts obsequiously").

#3: Smellfungus
Definition: an excessively faultfinding person

About the word: The original Smelfungus was a character in an 18th century novel. Smelfungus, a traveler, satirized the author of Travels through France and Italy, a hypercritical guidebook of that time.

#4: Snollygoster
Definition:  an unprincipled but shrewd person   (Oh, fer sure, it's Congress again!)

About the word:  The story of its origin remains unknown, but snollygoster was first used in the nasty politics of 19th century America. One definition of the word dates to 1895, when a newspaper editor explained "a snollygoster is a fellow who wants office, regardless of party, platform or principles...."

#5: Ninnyhammer
Definition: ninny; simpleton, fool

About the word:  The word ninny is probably a shortening and alteration of "an innocent" (with the "n" from "an" getting transferred to the noun) and "hammer" adds punch. 

#6: Mumpsimus
Definition:  a stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong.   (Bingo again! Congress!)

About the word:  Supposedly, this insult originated with an illiterate priest who said mumpsimus rather than sumpsimus ("we have taken" in Latin) during mass. When he was corrected, the priest replied that he would not change his old mumpsimus for his critic's new sumpsimus.  (They were hilarious back then right?)

#7: Milksop
Definition: an unmanly man; a mollycoddle (a pampered or effeminate boy or man)

About the word: Milksop literally means "bread soaked in milk." Chaucer was among the earliest to use milksop to describe an unmanly man (presumably one whose fiber had softened). By the way, the modern cousin of milksop, milquetoast, comes from Caspar Milquetoast, a timid cartoon character from the 1920s.

#8: Hobbledehoy
Definition: an awkward, gawky young man

About the word:  Hobbledehoy rhymes with boy: that's an easy way to remember whom this 16th century term insults. Its origin is unknown, although theories about its ancestry include hobble and hob (a term for "a clownish lout").

#9: Pettifogger
Definition: shyster; a lawyer whose methods are underhanded or disreputable

About the word:  The petti part of this word comes from petty, meaning "insignificant" (from the French petit, "small").

As for fogger, it once meant "lawyer" in English. According to one theory, it may come from "Fugger," the name of a successful family of 15th- and 16th-century German merchants and financiers. Germanic variations of "fugger" were used for the wealthy and avaricious, as well as for hucksters.

#10: Mooncalf
Definition: a foolish or absentminded person




I like to thank Merriam-Webster online for these suggestions!

Lyn Sims (847)230-7404 • Northwest Suburbs • Schaumburg Area

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Rainmaker
85,498
Samantha Davault
Alexander Chandler Realty - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX

John, I've heard a few of these, but most of them I have never heard.  I like lickspittle though.  I am going to use that one tomorrow on someone.

May 30, 2011 05:05 PM #1
Rainmaker
346,001
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Is a boot licker similar to an .... kisser?  Some pretty wild words.  Mostly all Greek to me.

May 30, 2011 05:07 PM #2
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Samantha - looks like you got a target already - LOL

May 30, 2011 05:13 PM #3
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Jenny - surprisingly I figure what you wanted to say much faster than all these nice words, that are highly unlikely to insult, but rather amuze the public, whho do not understand it.

But I loved the  lesson. Trying to learn a few words from here. It is so nice to insult politely - LOL

May 30, 2011 05:15 PM #4
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Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I like Mooncalf.  I can guarantee I see a few of those every couple of days!

May 30, 2011 05:32 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Jon:

I have heard milksop used in books, but the others are new to me.

May 30, 2011 05:38 PM #6
Rainmaker
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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I'd like to put the word "pettifogger" back into circulation. I've met more than my share of shysters for one lifetime and I'm positive the word would be put to good use.

May 31, 2011 01:59 AM #7
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Bryan - I have not yet learne thte lesson, and each time go and check the  meaning. But mooncalf i already know. Cool

May 31, 2011 02:11 AM #8
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Evelyn - it is the first time I run into this word. Colorful one

May 31, 2011 02:12 AM #9
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Jill - let the shysters know that they are pettifoggers. Not an easy task, considering that they do not see themselves this way

May 31, 2011 02:14 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Vadim Zolotarevskiy
FunCoast Realty & Management, LLC - Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Jon, OMG, just look at this cow with braces, she is laughhing at us. Maybe she knows it all?

May 31, 2011 02:21 AM #11
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Vadim - i love it. Could be a pettifogger, though...

May 31, 2011 02:30 AM #12
Rainmaker
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Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

Wow,  the only one I knew was milksop.   Great idea for a post.

May 31, 2011 05:29 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Thanks Jon for the reblog.  #11 that's a goat with braces BTW.

May 31, 2011 11:47 AM #14
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Faye - this is all Lyn's fault

May 31, 2011 03:18 PM #15
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Lyn - looking at the photo it is sort of unclear. Could be a genetically engineerd goat. Comes wiith braces

May 31, 2011 03:20 PM #16
Rainmaker
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Vadim Zolotarevskiy
FunCoast Realty & Management, LLC - Daytona Beach Shores, FL

@Lyn,

A goat? Hmmm...

Really a goat.

Ha, could have thought.

Coolest smile anyway. Any dentist's pride

May 31, 2011 03:23 PM #17
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