Lauri and Google Bringing Good Words to the People

Word of the (yester)Day:

rebarbative: repellent; irritating

COD also lists "unattractive and objectionable," with old French roots meaning "face each other 'beard to beard' aggressively."

I like the sound of rebarbative, flowing and rhythmic. Iambic dimeter? Sounds like repetitive, which lends a nice connotation of redundant annoyance. I like the word barb inside, a jab, an irritant that gets stuck. The whole word is like barbed wire, kind of long and pretty and twisting, a fluidity hiding something sharp.

That is all.

--by Lauri

(Ed note: Actually, though I like the term Iambic dimeter, I would consider rebarbative to be two feet: an iamb and a pyrrhic mushed together. Of course, depending on what immediately follows or precedes the word it could contain a dactyl or an amphibrach though the amphibrach seems less likely than the dactyl and they both seem less likely than my original iamb and pyrrhic combination. But then, scansion was never my strong suite. I mean, depending on context, it could be part of a three-foot phrase that could include two trochees and an iamb, (e.g. "A rebarbative man") and wouldn't that sound lovely? -- Trista)

Posted by Trista @ 11:38 AM

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I was stretching my scansion abilities with dimeter. I'm sure you're right:)

Posted by Anonymous lauri @ 3:36 PM #

If you follow the link for rebarbative, the second quote by Michael Dirda is pretty funny, in light of Maeera's poetics class:)

For those of you who didn't take Maeera's poetics class -- that was a good choice on your part.

Posted by Anonymous lauri @ 3:42 PM #

Lauri, you are so right, that was a good choice on everyone's part. We are surrounded by wise people who did not waste their time on rebarbative (non)discourse trying to bring the ephemeral into clear, solid view. Or, rather, trying to convince everyone that you and only you can truly undertand the wonderfulness of the ephermerality that only you can truly grasp. Or something. You know how well I paid attention to her...

No, really, iambic dimeter was a good stretch! I just happen to violently disagree. Talk about rebarbative.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 4:09 PM #

I took a poetics class with Maeera. I don't remember any dactyls. Some rebarbative discussions, but no anapests, iambs, ndimeters, trimeters. I do remember some sprung rhythm and some hair machinations.

Posted by Blogger Nik @ 4:52 PM #

An entire discussion based on the sound of a word with a fairly negative connotation really shouldn't turn a girl on. Having said that.... mmmmmmm....dactyl...mmmm amphibrach and oh! Pyrrhic. Somebody say pyrrhic again! oh. me. hot. All of it. Hott.

Posted by Blogger Plimco @ 7:45 AM #

I've been having some wild hair machinations since Noah was born. Jill would probably say longer. ;)

But I'm afraid that all I remember from any of my literature classes was iambic pentameter...which I think comes closer to the rhythm of baby talk than anything else.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 7:48 AM #

Oh Nik, you are SO RIGHT. There was no scansion involved in Maaera's class. Just a lot of Rebarbaration (yes, that's a new word, just go with it) on her part and a lot of simmering rage-lava on my part. We didn't get along. To put it mildly. The really amazing thing is that I tend to get along with everyone. Really, just ask anyone.

Well, Liza, if you got iambic pentameter then that's really all anyone needs to know. All that other stuff, like pyrrhic and anapests and dactyls are just fancy-pantsy words some critics use to try and justify their opinions and superiority and get girls like Plimco actually to want to sleep with them.

Plimco, did you hear that? huh Plimco? Pyrrhic. Dactyl. Anapest. Pyrrhic. You're welcome.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 8:46 AM #

You had me at scansion...

Posted by Blogger Plimco @ 11:13 AM #
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