Though you’re likely to drool when you pronounce the word carefully, the term “lugubrious” doesn’t have as much to do with loogies, goo, grubs, or brie as you might assume. “Lugubrious” describes maudlin mourning, exaggerated sorrow, excessive gloominess…or simply the emotional state of mankind in the year 2006. It should be an emo metal band; I’d like to see Lugubrious written in drippy letters on a soiled black t-shirt. “Bela Lugubrious” would also make a good title for either a Bauhaus song or a splatterporn actor. And anyone named Lou Gubrias should sue his parents for libel.
Today’s word is “serpiginous” (pronounced “sir-pijin-us”). This pretentiously bizarre adjective actually means “creeping from one part to another” or “having a wavy border” and is often applied by medical doctors to refer to visual skin disorders, like ringworm, snaking lesions, or drunken tattoos. Example: “Her serpiginous freckles run in an S-shape down her back like shizophrenic bird droppings down the sidewalk.” Note that “serpiginous” is not to be confused with “serpentine”– for the former clearly involves a snake-eating pigeon while the latter refers to a snake with a strange affinity for turpentine. Nevertheless, both terms work equally well in limericks and are especially funny when slurred by the mouths of tippling drunks. Some Satanists debate about whether or not the Great Dark One is “serpentine” or “serpiginous” — but the answer is obviously neither, and they really ought to look these words up in the Satanic Collegiate Dictionary before uttering them so carelessly. After all, I’ve heard the Great Dark One is notoriously litiginous.
Today’s word is “squeg” (pronounced “skweg”). To “squeg” generally means “to oscillate in an irregular fashion.” My fan squegs when the gears need oil. Squegging is what a volume meter does when a singer bumps into the microphone. Waves squeg when someone drops a body in the ocean. Pencils get all squeggy when you do the old “rubber pencil” trick. I squeg back and forth when I drink brandy and walk on ice. “Squeg” is not to be confused with “squegg” which means to either be disinterested in gender or to try to freak someone out. Squeg has no relation to Squiggy, Square Peg, Egg Squirts, or Queequeg from Moby Dick. Squeg was not invented by the authors of the Scrabble dictionary. Squeg would be a good name for a baby, but only last until age 21.