Darling, you look positively pulchritudinous. OW! No, that's a GOOD thing!
November 3, 2007 2:15 AM Subscribe
What words do you know which have a strong dissonance between their form and meaning?
posted by Jon Mitchell to writing & language (88 answers total) 103 users marked this as a favorite
I only just discovered that "pulchritudinous" means "beautiful", and not, as I had assumed from its very unlovely sound, some horrible portmanteau of, possibly "sepulchural", "putrescent" and "platitudinous". It just seems like it couldn't possibly be regarded as a compliment by anyone, regardless of what the dictionary says.
Are there words you're aware of you intuitively assumed had a meaning or association very different from their true meaning?