Prompt: This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?
Psh. Do I have an example? I have two.
- kerfuffle (kərˈfəfəl) – a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views
- persnickety (pərˈsnikədē) – placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy
I think it’s all about the vowel sounds and repetition of sounds with how it rolls off the tongue…if that makes sense? Ack, I really can’t explain it but I’d say the word has to sound a little wacky.