This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 24 February 2012

Word To Use Today: ramshackle.


Ramshackle means badly made, or about to fall to pieces: rickety or derelict.

It's almost always buildings that are ramshackle

Oh, and you can hear the self-righteousness of the speaker in the sound of it.

A speaker of the word ramshackle is keen to convey the disgrace of an unpainted door or a rotten window sill.

As for some slipped tiles, or the odd tree growing through a roof...well, that's an utter disgrace.


And there we have the magic of words: not only does ramshackle cast shame on others, but it asserts the self-righteousness of the speaker, as well.

Hm. Perhaps it's a word not to use today.

Word To Use Today If You're Smug And Disgusted: ramshackle. This word appeared in the 1600s. It comes from ranshackled, to ransack, from the Old Norse rann, a house, and saka, to search.

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