In fact, this is as close as I’m going to get to any sort of participation in this holiday: a terrible world that I personally hate and that I only know exists because Words With Friends let someone play it against me.
phpht (ffft) — interjection: an expression of mild annoyance or disagreement.Phpht was not a word I used when it was played against me for a considerable score. No, I gave a fairly deadpan, “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding,” because the same app that told me grunty wasn’t a word was perfectly happy to accept phpht, which is apparently a nonstandard variant of pht, which in turn is how a stupid person might represent the angry, breathy noise of protest that would otherwise be represented as ffft. “How is the pig?” “Oh, you know, the usual — pink and grunty.” I see nothing wrong with that sentence. But were the sentence “I used the word phpht, which doesn’t even need a vowel, against Drew in a game of Words With Friends, and it totally got more points than Drew got with crux,” then I would, in fact, have a problem that no amount of exasperated ventilation could solve. It would be the umiaq debacle all over again.
Lest I sound like I’m dumping on the players who utilize all the possibilities in the Words With Friends dictionary, I should probably also admit that I used the word edh against my friend Mollie, and she had every reason to ask me exactly how edh is a word. I quickly explained that it’s an alternate spelling of eth, a letter used in Old English to represent the “th” sound. I did not, however, mention that I only knew about it because someone used it against me.
So see? Words With Friends is good after all. It teaches you about English language obscurities all while testing the limits of your friendships.
Previous words of the week after the jump.
- acné excoriée des jeunes filles, adulterine, ageusia, ambeer, anosmia
- barn, barrack, beeturia, bissextile, bloofer, breastsummer, brinicle
- catholicon, cecaelia, cephalophore, cherpumple, chilver, chyron, cockernonnie, collywobbles, coprolalia, couvade, cranberry morpheme, crwth, culaccino, cummingtonite
- darkle, deasil, decussate, deuteragonist, dingbat, dingle
- eidolon, epeolatry, epopt, espalier, etui, exoterica
- fabiform, Feghoot, fissilingual, Föhnkrankheit, folderol, formication, freekeh, froward
- gallinipper, gnaborretni, grandgore, grue, guilloche, gyaru
- hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia, hobson-jobson, hogo, honorificabilitudinitatibus, hoyden, hyetal
- ignivomous, iracund, isabelline, itaiitai, izod, izzard
- jabroni, jamais vu, jehu, jumentous
- kaffir, kakopygian, kayfabe, knipperdollin
- lagniappe, leman, lemniscate, limnovore, linsey-woolsey, longicorn
- malacia, malison, maroon, milt, mongo, mooncalf, morepork, muzjiks
- narrenfreiheit, nef, nihilartikel, nobiliary particle, nosism
- ochanee, ogonek, ombré, ooglification, orchidectomy, ordured, orf, osculate
- pace, padiddle, paraprosdokian, pareidolia, pavonated, perendiate, perigee, perverb, petrichor, pettifogger, pettitoes, phlegmagogue, pismire, pixilated, pogonip, pong, pruniferous, puggle, pulveratricious, purse
- quacksalver, quagga, qualtagh, quidnunc, quiff
- ronion, roynish, rubirosa, rumpsprung, runcible
- salmagundi, scrutator, seneschal, sharrow, shebang, sinople, slampadato, slubberdegullion, stan, stevedore, suovetaurilia
- tappen, tatterdemalion, teratogenesis, tergiversate, tetromino, thagomizer, thon, tiffin, tittery-whoppet, tmesis, toby, tutoyer, tyro
- ucalegon, ultramontane, umiaq, umquhile
- veneficial, verdigris, vespertilionine, vinegeroon
- weeaboo, widdiful, williwaw, witzelsucht, wooper looper
- xenodocheionology, xyster
- yazoo, ypsiliform, yoink
- zanjero, zenzizenzizenzic, zinnober, zugzwang