Vocabulary: The Letter H and 100th Post

HOLY CHRISTMAS, BATMAN!  I have reached 100 POSTS!

Not bad, considering my initial fear that I had nothing to say.  Since this is my 100th post, I should mark the occasion with a special celebration.  I have no published books to give away, alas.  Guess I’ll have to save that for my next milestone, like actually publishing one.  *snerk*

Thank you to all my readers, both known and unknown.  Stick around because I’m working on some plans for next year’s posts, including some audience participation and other goodies.

Today’s letter is H, for hospital, Harry Potter (did you see Deathly Hallows Part 1 yet???), heaps (as in heaps of presents – hope you got some!) and Hell, which I am in when it gets cold enough to make my fingers crack and bleed.  Onward!

Haggis – the national dish of Scotland, immortalized as such by Robert Burns’ poem Address to a Haggis.  A large sausage-like sheep’s stomach stuffed with sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs), oatmeal, onions, spices and suet (fat).  Traditionally served with neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes).

Hallux – scientific name for the big toe on primate feet.  In birds, it’s the toe that points backward.  Contrary to popular belief, you can walk without a big toe.

Hedonist – one who practices a devotion to a life of pure pleasure, believing it is the greatest good.  The Doctor was no hedonist; while he enjoyed traveling through time in his trusty Tardis, he always took on the messy task of stopping aliens from destroying humanity.

Herpetophobia – fear of snakes.  I like them.  No really.  They eat nasty bugs, slugs and mice.  Without them we’d be overrun.  And except for the ones that can kill you with a well-aimed glance, they’re kind of cute.

Peek-a-boo! Aww!

Hircine – smelling like a smelly goat.  Yoda was cute, but centuries of climbing around the swamps of Dagobah had left him with a rather hircine odor.

Hillbilly – common and derogatory term for a mountain dweller, mostly in the Ozarks and Appalachians.  It is sometimes used interchangeably with the term white trash when referring to rural folks, along with redneck, yokel, trailer trash and cracker (Southern).  Here’s a great article about Ozark hillbillies at Ozark Mossman’s Bizzaritorium.

Holograph – text written in the author’s handwriting.  For example, a holographic will is a handwritten document, usually not witnessed.  Even with a legal signature, they aren’t valid in all states.  In those where they are, a properly executed, signed and dated holographic will, with or without witnesses, including a statement that it supercedes all previous wills, may get your character his inheritance.  Double-check with a lawyer, because I ain’t one.  I’m just a hillbilly.

Hornpipe – British country folk dance named after the instrument that played the tune.  Yarr! Dance this on the poop deck, me hearties!  Looks like fun, especially with a snootful o’ grog!

HP – short for Harry Potter.  I promise I won’t nerd out…really…okay, any writer who wants to do a series should read this.  In fact, read it anyway, just because it’s loads of fun.  I don’t care if you don’t like fantasy. You’ll like this.  Who among us didn’t wish as a child that we could do magic?

HQ – short for headquarters.  I know acronyms aren’t really words, but since some of them have entered the vernacular, one or two of your characters might drop them in conversation.  For wacky fun, a character who talks primarily in acronyms will drive everyone else crazy.

HR – okay, last one, I promise. Human Resources, everyone’s favorite corporate department! “Hey, did you hear about Stinky Bob?” the office gossip said, her voice shivering with suppressed glee.  “He was called into HR a while ago.”

Huarache – Mexican sandal. And a Mexican dish of cornmeal dough topped with all kinds of yummy noms.  It gets its name from the shape, which is similar to the shoe.  If your huarache tastes like a huarache, I’d probably send it back.

Huarache you wear.

Huarache you eat.

Husbandry – science of cultivating animals or crops for food.  No, it’s not the science of keeping your husband in line.  That’s a whole other article.

Hyoid – U-shaped.  A little bone in the throat above the larynx, the hyoid bone, is often fractured by manual strangulation.  If you’re writing a detective novel where someone gets strangled you’ll want to remember this.

Hypotrichosis – hairlessness. Your hypotrichotic villain could leave behind someone else’s hair at the crime scene, thus implicating that person in the strangulation murder.  Muwahahaha.

That’s all for today, kids.  Have a safe and Happy New Year!

4 thoughts on “Vocabulary: The Letter H and 100th Post

  1. I did see Deathly Hallows part I, finally. I have to admit, as adaptations go, the HP movies are pretty good.

    Currently re-reading the whole series to my girl-child. Just last night, Harry and Cedric both grabbed the TriWizard Cup…

    • I think Goblet of Fire is my favorite of the series. I like that there’s so much going on, it’s the first one where they start to take notice of each other as boy and girl (the ball) and the cover is AWESOME.

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