Research Roundup

research: library

Love Your Research 

I can’t imagine a writer without some tools of the trade, even if those are only a good dictionary and a thesaurus, preferably a good manual of style as well. I share a few of my favorite resources.

Writers on Writingwriting 101: love your research

There are lots of ways to get inside writers’ heads.

Bicycle History to Celebrate UCI Road World Championships 

When my interest is piqued, of course I turn to research.

Books for Writers: Deborah Tannen 

Deborah Tannen has published numerous books that might be of interest to writers.

On Writing by Stephen King book cover
Stephen King’s On Writing

Dictionary of American Regional English 

Somewhere in my public life, I mentioned that I collect dictionaries. I have whole shelves of them, everything from slang to carnival jargon to common usage during the Civil War to books of insults and dirty words. I ordered all six volumes of the Dictionary of American Regional English—and then thanked my husband for his birthday present to me.

Wonderful Words 

I was much taken with Ammon Shea’s book, Reading the OED, a memoir of the year he spent reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary.

Beware Beautiful Words Beware Beautiful Words

Writers are readers, by and large, and also word collectors. We tend to fall in love with words. Some writers make a career of writing about words as well as with them.

 

Beware Beautiful Words

Beware Beautiful Words
Writers are readers, by and large, and also word collectors. We tend to fall in love with words. Some writers make a career of writing about words as well as with them.
The Word Museum by Jeffrey Kacirk
The Word Museum by Jeffrey Kacirk
One of my personal favorites is dudgeon. In the Chesapeake Bay Mysteries, Van reflected on Nora being truly formidable when in high dudgeon. And from my rural Ohio roots, I like caddywampus and whopperjawed (both of which mean, basically, out of kilter or poorly constructed) as well as redd, as in redd up the table (meaning clear away or make ready).

 

Belly-pinched, meaning starving

 

Blutterbunged, meaning confounded or overcome by surprise

 

Brownstudy, meaning gloomy meditation or distraction

 

Bruzzle, to make a great to-do

 

Cabobble, to mystify, confuse, or puzzle

 

Davering, wandering aimlessly or walking dazed

 

Fabulosity, meaning  being fabulous or telling lies

 

Falling-weather,rain, snow, or hail

 

Flamfoo, a gaudily dressed woman, a clothes horse

 

Flurch, a great many (things, not people)

 

Fuzzle, to make fuzzy or indistinct with drink

 

Greasy tongue, a flatterer

 

Heart-quakes, exactly what it sounds like

 

Hipshot, sprained or dislocated him

 

Nightfoundered, lost the way in the dark

 

Noggle, to walk awkwardly

 

Prinkle, a tingling sensation in the skin, gooseflesh?

 

Quanked, overcome by fatigue

 

Smoothery, ointment or medicine to take away hair

 

Squiggle, to slosh liquid around the mouth with the lips closed

 

Stepmother-year, a cold, unfavorable year

 

Tazzled, rough untidy hair

 

Teaty-wad, a lump of damp sugar in a twist of cloth to quiet an infant when the mother is unavailable to feed

 

Thinnify, to make thin

 

Thrunched, very angry or displeased

 

Unlicked, unpolished or unkempt

 

Woman-tired, henpecked

 

Advice to Writers

If you choose to use colorful, unusual words such as these, use each only once in a given story or novel. They will be noticed. The only exception is would be when a given word is a speech tag for a given character.

 

Not to worry. The world is full of rich language, plenty to go around!