This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday 22 November 2019

Word To Use Today: mastodon.

Mastodon is a brilliant word for, well, a mastodon

Mammoth on the left, mastodon on the right. Illustration by Dantheman9758

The mas bit sounds weighty, and the don bit sounds like a mighty robot.

(As a matter of fact the derivation is nothing to do with being either massive or powerful, but there you go.)

Mastodons were common, once, but that was a long time ago.

I still miss them, though.

How to use the word? Well, as so often PG Wodehouse shows us the way. He writes of occasions when 'Aunt is calling Aunt like mastodons bellowing across primaeval swamps' (though I would have thought that a swamp would have been rather a dangerous habitat for an animal as heavy as a mastodon).

That other master of the English language, Betty Rubble, compares Fred Flinstone's singing voice to that of a mastodon who's got caught in the tar pit.

So there we are. Mastodon. A word all ready to add spice to your conversation and to describe any over-large and over-noisy character near you.

Word To Use Today: mastodon. This word comes from the Latin and means, literally, breast-tooth. Even though a mastodon's teeth have bumps on them which are more or less in the shape of nipples, this is a very odd name indeed.

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