From the Mind of OPJ…



Is this blog Quard? Hundo P!        

Where do words come from, anyway?

While much of the English language comes from Latin, Old Norse, Germanic and French influences from well over a thousand years ago, new words have cropped up throughout history. I mean it is not like the Vikings needed the word television, is it?

Any idea where the word Penguin came from? No? Neither did I, but The Oxford Dictionaries tells us that

The name originally applied to the great auk (now extinct) of the seas around Newfoundland in Canada, and may have come from the Welsh pen gwyn, meaning ‘white head’. In the logbook of the Golden Hind… in 1577–80, there is a reference to a ‘(bird), which the Welsh men name Pengwin’ …The sailors on the expedition may have mistaken penguins for great auks (which) resembled a penguin in that it was a large flightless bird with black and white plumage.

So there it is – some guys just decided to name something that they had never seen before, and wouldn’t you know it, the name stuck.

Apparently, back in the 1790s in Ireland, Richard Daly made a bet that in two days he could make a brand new word with no meaning known throughout the city, and that the public would supply a meaning for it. He told his staff to write the word ‘quiz’ on walls around the city. The next day the strange word was the talk of the town, and within a short time it had become part of the language.

There is some doubt as to whether this story is actually true, which only makes it more interesting in a way. What really did happen?

There are examples in sports and entertainment of people succeeding or failing to make new words or phrases ‘happen’. The famous basketball coach, Pat Riley, told the world that his Los Angeles Lakers would go for the ‘threepeat’ in 1989. The Lakers did not in fact win a third championship in a row, but the word has stuck. Gretchen Wieners in the movie Mean Girls famously tries make the word ‘fetch’ become part of the language, but is sharply told by Regina George ‘stop trying to make fetch happen; it’s not going to happen!’

All of which brings us to what has been going on at Camp Schodack over the last year or so!

The massive overuse of the term ‘awkward’ brought about, in my opinion, the need for a new word. Everything was awkward, even the really minor stuff. In fact most of it wasn’t awkward at all, it was, well, quard. Sure, two people reaching for the last slice of pizza at the same time was ‘something’…but, fully awkward? I think not!

And while some may like to say ‘a little awkward’, or even, ‘a bit awkward’ why use 4 or even 5 syllables when a nice, neat quard would do just as well.

The key to quard is time – if a situation looks like it will be over quickly and have no lasting effect, it’s quard, not awkward!

Now, so far, quard hasn’t ventured too far out of middle school soccer in Newton, MA and standard Super Senior and LT usage at Camp Schodack.

But do I hope it spreads further?

Hundo P!

(I imagine right now a bunch of you are thinking, ‘Hundo P? That’s not an expression! What does it even mean?)

But it does exist! It just isn’t widely known yet!

Hundo P is a phrase that Drew Kantor brought from his fraternity house at Emory University. How it started there I don’t know, but Hundo P is an even better bet to catch on than quard. It has a really good ring to it!

Hundo P may be used instead of ‘100 per cent, ‘definitely’, ‘for sure’ or ‘of course’ and is just a whole lot cooler than any of those terms.

Finally, the key with using both quard and Hundo P is to look just a bit surprised that everyone DOESN’T know the words yet. It will probably mean they start using the words themselves!

Next stop Nickelodeon and the Oxford Dictionaries!!