Sunday, 8 December 2013

Lexicolatry: Reflections on the Letter B

Only 24 Letters to Go

My word, my word, my word! B was a long slog - and that's not to mean I didn't enjoy it, but considering that I completed A in 101 posts and B took me 283, it's fair to say that B took a lot longer than I expected. It also raises questions about the length of time this project will take, for if two letters took me just over one year to complete, it could mean that the entire project will take me 13 years! At the very outset, I did tell people to hang around at least until the point I realised what a monumental undertaking I had misunderestimated. Well, I think I've reached that point ... but ... I will fight on undeterred, and my enthusiasm for words, knowledge and the OED remains undented; in fact, I'm buoyed by what fun it's been, by the people I've met and the experiences I've had, so I march into C with my head held high and my fingers poised at the keyboard.

So what highlights from B? First of all, my favourite words have been backfriend (a backstabbing false friend or someone that backs you up), Bedfordshire (meaning bed), belgard (a kind or loving look), ben trovato (an appropriate but untrue story), Bildungsroman (a novel of a youth's development), bindi (the decorative mark worn by Indian women), blik (an unfalsifiable conviction), bondieuserie (cheap religious tat), boudoir (a woman's 'sulking room') and bouts rimés (a rhyming word game) . What's particularly wonderful is how many of these words have entered into my active vocabulary, including backfriend and Bedfordshire

Of course, I think a lot of people will remember the Bs in Lexi for the various women-related words that I covered, including bikini, bimbo, bintbitch, blond(e), bloomersbluestocking, boobs, bosoms, brassièrebrunet(te) and buxom (some might include buttocks in this list, but I have it on good authority that buttocks are definitely unisex). In equal measure, these posts were fun, interesting, eye-opening and sobering to write and research, and I really appreciated and enjoyed the feedback and exchange of views that came with each of them, so thank you all for that. 

Also, it was in B that we've had the rise of the guest posts on Lexi, with Katie Dwyer, Sally Prue and John Kelly all making contributions. Each has an excellent blog of their own, so I would encourage anyone that hasn't done so to click on their names and swing on over to them to see what they're all about. 

As always, I want to thank everyone that takes the time to comment in Lexi - we have some wonderful regulars such as Clueless, Bibi, Evi, Jingles, Kara and latterly the Angry Nerd. The insights, the banter and the encouragement are all really, really appreciated so please keep reading, and please keeping commenting! And if you've been reading but haven't yet commented, don't be shy - everyone is welcome and it's a lot of fun.

Going forward into C, I'll be making a few small changes on the blog, including adding a Contributors page and an FAQ and, although it pains me to even think such a thing, I might try and be more selective with words so that I'm progressing just a teensy bit faster than two letters per year! I shall continue to post every day (I'm delighted that it's been just over a year now, and I've never missed a post), and I shall be doubling my efforts to get the posts out at the same time every day (8.00am GMT). 

Many thanks again to everyone that reads and contributes to Lexi - I'm really having great fun, and I hope you are too. See you in C!

Twitter: @Lexicolatry

PS - Today's word is byword.


  1. Looking forward to c-ing the c's!
    I won't mind if it takes you 13 years to get through it all - it's a delightful read every day.
    Cheers sir!!

    1. Thank you Jingles - it'll be interesting to estimate again at the end of 'C'. The prediction should be going down, not up!

  2. This will be Clueless' letter. There were only a few "bib" words, but "c" words, there are plenty!

    1. Bibacious, bibble, bibble-babble, bibelot, bibition, biblio-, bibliophile, bibliopole and bibulous ... how many would you have liked??

  3. Nice one Ed.
    I think my favourite post was "boudoir".
    Look forward to another year.

    1. Cheers, Angry Nerd - looking forward to your comments : o )