May 3, 2011


Summary: High drama aside, today's word comes not from your suggestions (though they're always welcome), but from a word I heard in passing: hyperbole ...

This week, I had no less than three people comment to me, "Why haven't you blogged about our word yet?" Then I needed to be reminded just which word each one was talking about.

As I go throughout my regular day, it's second nature for me to hold conversations about interesting words or turns of phrase that catch my ear (or eye in print)—and just as common for me to mention off-handedly to whomever is near, "This will make a really good WOW word for my blog." It turns out, you guys are paying attention!

When I sit down to write, however, I'm subject to the usual lapses of memory that many of us humans are prone to, and I tend to pull out the handiest word I can think of (often the most recent word discussed).

Today is no different: All three of you, friends, are going to have to wait at least another week, as I blog today about a word that caught my ear in passing: hyperbole.

Hyperbole (HY - PER - bow - lee) - (n.) an extravagant exaggeration, as in "I ran to the moon and back to make her happy" or the commonly spoken, "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse." From the Greek words hyper (for beyond) and ballein (meaning to throw), hyperbole is actually a conjugation of this compound word that was passed down into Latin and English, with its first recorded English usage in the 1520s. The word itself is a bit hyperbolic, since the Greek word bole literally means "a throwing or casting; the stroke of a missile, bolt or beam."

But don't worry: I'll get around to the other words you're longing to read about ... probably sometime in the next century or two.

© KiKi Productions, Inc. 2011

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