Sunday, February 26, 2006


Or, a ditty dedicated to the key of “d”

By: Samantha Tooting-Beck, not-your-average Cosmo girl, but one with an abiding interest in old or odd words that have been banished from common conversation.

In the interests of resurrecting rather fine words that rarely see the light of day in either spoken or written English, I’ve decided to create a delightful ditty dedicated to the fourth letter “d” of the English alphabet.

Darvel Dillytop, an amateur danseuse realized that her dangling dashpot days were over.

Suffice to say that the diaplasticks weren’t working any more, and the deleterious effects of a dry-diet were leaving her in a davering, distraught and drowning the miller state of mind as she contemplated the double onslaught of dysania and dysbulia. Frankly, the prospect of spending her remaining time on terra firma with a bunch of ding-a-lings and dingbats did not exactly ring her chimes.

Not wanting to become a dwizzen-faced, deliquesced diva (let alone a doddering Delilah with a decorative dome doily atop her cerebellum) or even worse, dwanged before her time, she decided to deliberate upon the matter while ensconced comfortably on a donnicker in a nearby donjon (that incidentally offered a fresh new perspective on life).

There she encountered a deformed durry, a dough ball and a dream stick. Not one for dumpster diving or drinking tobacco, she exercised her druthers and determined that it was high time for her to dress up like a dog’s dinner and consult a dookin, a douzeper, plus a druid for good measure, before there was a downswing in the market and the inevitable loss of all her double-digit investment opportunities.

The dookin, (after presentation of a double sawbuck), suggested that if this delectable den mother wished to avoid dystopia her best bet was to keep dronish dupes, dramatic monologists and double-talking droobs at a distance. Next she was advised to seek the company of a suitable dough bug that wished to make this doozer of dollybird his very own dowsasel and not a disreputable doxy or a draggle-tail.

The dagger-sporting douzeper, (named “Don Quixote”), indicated that the dewy-eyed deltiologist should satisfy her urge for dromomania by purchasing a dream sack, a dufflebag, and a book on dontopedalogy. He also warned her to be on the lookout for double-speaking drab doppelgangers and a duet of donsy doo-woppers. Clearly engaging in ducks and drakes or donkeywork and drudgery are not pastimes fit for a drop-dead gorgeous damsel who’s destined to become at the very least a dulcimer-playing water nymph or at best, a deceptive dynamo named Dulcinea with a walk-on part in a deodorant commercial at a droll-booth performance.

The double-dome druid after double-checking the diurnal activities of a dormouse, and examining a docile dowcet, recommended she drop her dowager duchess routine, ditch the idea of becoming a devil’s advocate and dodge any door-to-door dummkopfs, dunderheads or dunghavenhooters that might come knocking. He also told her never to date a double-negative dyvour, a dithering do-si-do type or become anyone’s down-at-the-heel doormat.

Needless to say, after such dharmic guidance from a bunch of divine dudes, this demure deipnosophist knew that neither demolition derbies nor dazzling diamonds could ever divert her from her dolce vita future with the man of her dreams…a distinguished dental-flosser and desirable deosculator … the denuded Don Juan himself!


For the benefit of baffled readers, A Lexicon of Lost-And-Found Words (containing words beginning with the letter "d" found in the above tale of twaddle and twittery) follows:

dangling – descriptive of activities performed by a circus trapeze artist
danseuse - a female ballet dancer
davering – walking about in a dazed condition, as in to wander aimlessly
dashpot – shock absorber
deleterious – harmful
deipnosphist – one who is exceptionally good at dinner-table conversation
Delilah – the mistress and betrayer of Samson in the book of Judges
deliquesced – to become soft or liquid with age
deltiologist – one who collects postcards
demure – affectedly modest, coquettishly coy, or reserved
denuded – without the benefit of a fig leaf, naked as it were…
deosculator – one who kisses kisser affectionately and passionately
dharmic – pertaining to an individual’s duty fulfilled by observance of customs or cosmic laws
ding-a-lings – nitwits, kooks
dingbats – nincompoops, noddypoles, nudnicks, and nuisances
diaplasticks – medicines which are good for a limb out of place
dithering – a highly confused, indecisive, nervous or vacillating person
diva – a distinguished female or posh performer
doddering – feeble, senile old fogy
dolce vita – a life of indolence and self-indulgence
dollybird – pretty young woman
dome doily – a wig
Don Juan – a captivating man known as a great lover or seducer of women
donjon – the main tower of a castle.
donnicker – a toilet
donsy – restive or saucy
dontolpedalogy – putting one’s foot in one’s mouth
dookin – fortune-teller
doozer – an extraordinary of its kind
doppleganger – the ghost or double of a living person
double-dome - intellectual
dough ball – stale bread and cinnamon used as fish bate
dough bug – a wealthy person
double sawbuck – a twenty dollar bill
douzeper – one of twelve legendary knights
dowager – dignified elderly widow
dowcet – the testicle of a deer or rabbit
down-at-the-heel – old-fashioned, shabby
dowsasel – a sweetheart
doxy – floozy or mistress
drab – cheerless; descriptive of “droobs” i.e. boring or dull people
draggle-tail – slattern or slovenly-dressed saucy female acquaintance
dream sack – a cowboy term for a sleeping bag
dream stick – an opium pipe
dressed up like a dog’s dinner – to wear one’s best bib and tucker
druid – an ancient Celtic priest known to have magical powers
drinking tobacco – euphemism for smoking
drippers – people who constantly grouch and grumble
droll-booth – a traveling theater
dromomania – the compulsive longing for travel
dronish – habitually lazy
droobs – dull or boring people
drowning the miller – adding too much water to wine or spirits
druthers – free choice, preference
dry-diet – total abstinence from liquids
dry-suit – a close-fitting waterproof rubber suit used especially by skin divers
ducks and drakes – skimming flat stones or shells along the surface of calm water
dulcimer – a stringed trapezoidal-shaped instrument played with light hammers held in the hands
Dulcinea – mistress or sweetheart (of Don Quixote).
dummkopfs - blockheads
dumpster-diving – collecting stuff tossed away in private or public refuse receptacles
dunderheads – big blockheads
dunghavenhooters – imaginary mouthless creatures that beat their victims into gas and inhale them through large nostrils
durry – a cigarette butt
dwanged – bowed down, decrepit with too much harassment and worry
dwizzen-faced - skinny-looking parched person
dysania – having a difficult time waking up in the morning
dysbulia – loss of will power
dystopia – an imaginary place where everybody is depressed
dyvour – one who is bankrupt