My mother is the inspiration for my weird obsession with words and like me, considers herself a puppeteer of words.
One Saturday night when we found ourselves abandoned at home by dad and my sister and with no party invitations of our own we invented a game to devour time (devime).
We started playing around with puns the way a cat plays with a mouse; it is quite sinister the way we snatched at words, tossed them about in our mouths, even chewed on them, before scaling them for the parts we wanted only to leave them on display under the bed (you have to know where to look), our trophey, just for you. And don’t forget the eminating chesire cat-type smile and even cackle.
What can I say? They were punny.
The result was a game involving us trying to find funny explanations for words. For example, the word ‘domino’was coined when a man named Dom, owner of ‘Gino’s Casino’ took five men to court for bullying. The accused bullied Dom on a regular basis about the spots on the middle aged man’s face and even placed bets on how many pimples would show on his face each day. It was like deep sea fishing. For boots. Desperate and left a funny taste of leather in your mouth. But we were hooked.
So, this stupid game only led us to thee ultimate Literary Gangster hunting game: reinventing words by combination (its much like my cooking style).
First you hunt the forest for wild words that appeal to you. Then you slaughter them; either cut them in half, pull of an affix or even a prefix but gut the meaning and put it to the side because that’s the tasty bit. Repeat this. Then in a metaphorical bowl in your head, combine the two remnants of words. Add both meanings, a pun maybe some wine for extra flavour and wham! you’ve cooked yourself up a nice word smoothy (woothy).
Our prime example and ultimately our ‘you-probably-had-to-be-there-funniest-moment’, was our determination to match two amazing wordsmiths of our time: Shakespeare and Stephen King.
We toyed around with a word for a while. We came up with Kingspeare, Pearking, Shakesteph and finally out came “Shakesking”. I know it may not sound that wacky in weird, in fact it sounds and looks almost like the word ‘shaking’ but then we came up with a definition which is hilarious and totally appropriate.
Shakesking, noun, definition: Stagefright.
A thankyou very much.
We refer to this now as Fioni and Tracie’s Linguitive Dictionary: Linguitive being a word we invented meaning ‘derived from linguistics’.
So the ironlusion (ironic conslusion) is that we were bored so we dipped in to the word kitty, went gamehunting all to devime and performed a lovely puppet show for our own entertainment; and like Shakespeare, the world (of words) was our stage. That’s puntastic.