Wogglewonkle · 6 April 2019

If you are ever stuck for a word to use, especially if something is messed up, try wogglewonkle.

One of our staff members (who shall remain nameless) was commenting that the tables in our staff room were wogglewonkle. The wheels on the tables were not locked so they were cadywompus (which is of course, a real word, or close). They were out of kilter. At any rate, the tables were not aligned like they were supposed to be. Since we also have chairs with wheels, when somebody moved a bit, the tables and chairs and everything got all messed up. And according to the aforementioned unnamed staff member, those tables were wogglewonkle.

Well, I replied that I had heard of cadywompus (my dad used the word often), but I had never heard the word wogglewonkle until that day. Again, unnamed staff member said, “Yea, you know. Wogglewonkle.” Which of course, I had already said, I had never heard before. But we all laughed anyway because regardless of what the word was, we knew what she meant. The tables were not quite the way they should have been. They were wogglewonkle.

I would not try to dispute the legitimacy of such a great word, but I certainly could have. In the old days, I would just grab a dictionary, and point to the location where the word should be to prove that it is not a word. Today, the way you know that a word is not a real word is when you try to put it into a note or text on your phone, said phone (assuming it is somewhat smart) will try to put in a word or words that are not even close to the made up word you are trying to put in. So when I tried to put wogglewonkle into my phone so I could write about it later, the phone tried to put in “woggle winkle,” two completely different made up words.

(Okay. For those of you who are saying that I am full of hot air, I must apologize. I just looked up woggle and winkle. It turns out that they are real or close to real words.. Woggle is apparently a device that scouts use to tie their kerchiefs about their necks. Winkles are apparently spiral shelled mollusks. Who knew? Yes, I know. Somebody knew.)

(By the way, when it comes right down to it, all words are made up. They just might not make it into the lexicon of the English language. At least not right away. Words can audition for years to get into dictionaries, but many never make it. Or they languish in the lesser known dictionaries. It is surely word purgatory to be relegated to something other than a real dictionary. But that is another story.)

(Oh. One last parenthetical remark. Did you know that smart phones are really not that smart? I think about that all the time. Okay. Not really. In fact, I seldom think about it except in the beginning of the school year. That is when I tell my students that computers are dumb. After all, they do everything you tell them to do. And only what you tell them to do. That is not very smart, if you ask me. Yes, the people who program those phones are very smart, but the phones themselves are not. Again, quite another story.)

Well, that is about it for wogglewonkle. In fact, with all the parenthetical statements and even paragraphs, I am sure this blog post is wogglewonkle. Or cadywompus. Some people might even say that I am a bit off kilter. But that is okay. I just let them know that I am always a bit wogglewonkle. And when they wonder about it, I will just let them know it is my new catchall word. Wogglewonkle.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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