This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sunday Rest: Word Not To Use Today: jamboree.

It's the street party today: we're going to barricade the road.

Everyone will cater for twice the number of people who are attending, and the place will be full of plaintive people wandering around with rain-puddled plates asking anyone for a wet sausage roll?

Still, it will be fun. People will be obliged to take a little something to ward off the cold, and that will encourage them to join in, even though the games are really only for the kiddies.

There will be bunting.

I hope the Queen will get a Loyal Toast, as it's all down to her sixty years of sterling service that we're having the party, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if everyone's too busy to think of it until afterwards.

Now, by this point you may have noticed I haven't mentioned the word I'm suggesting we don't use today.

Well, it would be hypocritical, otherwise.

Wouldn't it.

Word Not To Use Today: jamboree. No one will admit to having made up this heavy, sticky and ridiculous word, which means a noisy celebration. It could be Hindi in origin, it could be Swahili (from jambo, hello) it could be Native American, it could be Non-native American (from jam, to pack tightly, made into jamboree because that way it'll sound a bit like shivaree (which comes from the Old French chalivali which means to make a din with pots and pans)), it could be Aboriginal Australian, from the word caribberie, which is an Aboriginal ceremony.

The only certain thing is that it wasn't made up by the founder of the Scout Movement Robert Baden Powell.

And good for him, I say.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'd never given it any thought but it's kind of comforting to know it just kind of sprang up and no one want to take responsibility for it. Not a word I use much, anyway!