Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Isnt that one of the most misleading words in the English language? If you were seeing this word for the first time, you would NEVER imagine that it meant "beauty" or "loveliness", would you? I know I didnt!

Ugly looking word.

POOL-kri-tyude. ("POOL-kri-tood" in American.) Ugly sounding either way.

It might denote beauty, but I dont think I'll be using in my writing it if I can help it.






(Other than in this post, that is.)


Kamini said...

We must be mentally linked in some way or the other - I was thinking EXACTLY this about EXACTLY the same word a week or two ago. Most words "look" like what they mean, but this one brings to mind something rotting and stinky!
I'm still shaking my head at the coincidence!

Viji said...

I guess it is almost opposite of some of the words in Sanskrit for the flower Lotus. The flower is beautiful. But the meaning of the word is "mud" or "from mud".

Anonymous said...

Kamini: I'm willing to share my mind with yours - I'm afraid it will be mostly to my advantage, though!! :)

Viji: I've been breaking my head wondering what "lotus" is in Sanskrit. Just CANT remember! To think my mother's a Sanskrit teacher...! :)

- Shyam

brinda said...

padma, no? no? padmasana.... oh well! and YES!!! the first time i came across this word (pulchwatever) i was pretty damn sure it meant exactly the opposite of what it does mean! mind you, i had a similar problem with uxorious... :-)

Anonymous said...

Brin: I know! I thought uxorious had something to do with criticising someone/something :)

- Shyam

meerkat said...

i thought pulchritude had a nice punchy ring to it. on the other hand hebetude means exactly as it sounds.

uxorious is what you probably want pete to be ;-)


brinda said...

hebetude? did you just make that word up? is it american? is it a bush-ism?

or have i just made a splendid display of my ignorance?

Anu said...

...brought to mind the GRE word list that we so blindly and faithfully memorized - (Making sure we had the Yankee pronunciation) - I never thought about what it (or any of the other words) actually meant:-)))

Orange Fronkey said...


it makes me crinkle my nose when I see the word, because it looks like it should actually represent a foul smell!

Anonymous said...

Meera: Uxorious I know. I had to look up hebetude, though! :)

Anu: I didnt sit the GRE, but I aced TOEFL (which I took just for the heck of it!) :)

Merino: I know, it's not a pleasant looking/sounding word :)

- Shyam

Devaki said...

Funny how I always had the exact same thoughts about this word. Really sounds ugly, doesn't it?

And hey, this is my first time on your blog and I had fun going through the archives. Loved the grammar/spelling rant (TAT!!!) and the long discussions on your return to India rant. You write really well, I shall be back for more!

shyam said...

Thanks, Devaki! Both for dropping by and for leaving such a nice comment :)