This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Nuts and Bolts: molossus.

A molossus may sound slimy, large, and rather stupid, but that's not its fault at all.


A molossos is quite an innocent thing: it's three extra-loud or heavy syllables all in a row.


They're hard to use in English, but WS Gilbert used them marvellously in the Mikado when Pish-Tush, Ko-Ko and Pooh-Bah sing:


To sit in solemn silence in the dull dark dock
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock.
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block.


Brilliant, isn't it?

And if that wasn't enough, a molossos is also a sort of dog, and several sorts of bat.


Thing To Use Today: molossus. This is a Greek word. It's always meant molossos, which is rather dull.

Still, you simply must admire its blunt moist sound,
Whether it's a squeaking bat or large-fanged hound.

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