I have a good word for you today. I know I say that every week, but it’s true every week. I dare you to give me one word I used that wasn’t good. Can’t do it, can you? Didn’t think so.
Today I give you prognathous. It’s not, as some of you may think, a mathematical theorem. True, it looks a lot like pythagorean theorem, but it’s not. I would never do that to you. Eighth grade geometry, or math of any kind, has no place here.
No, this word is much more interesting than any math concept. See for yourselves.
Prognathous – (prog ne thus or prog nA thus) adj. Having protrusive jaws. Also, prognathic. N. Prognathy.
What surprises me is that we even have such a word in our language. I mean who uses this word. Ever? Unless it’s some sort of medical term, I really can’t envision any situation which would result in the mention of this word. I can’t see myself standing in a small circle at a cocktail party (mostly because I never get invited to cocktail parties) where someone would toss out “prognathous” in casual conversation. Although if I was and someone did, I’d be so happy I knew this word because then I could respond without missing a beat thereby thwarting the person’s attempt attempt at superciliousness (which is super sillier than supercilious but it is a real word).
I could see this word coming in handy for a novelist. It would be perfect for describing an evil character. Can’t you just see it in the pages of a book? In fact, if F. Scott Fitzgerald didn’t use it to describe Wolfshiem in The Great Gatsby, he should have. First, prognathous is the type of word that can only be written (it looks good and literary and, really, who can pronounce it?) and, second, your readers will think you’re super smart, if not a little supercilious.
Maybe you could use the word to describe your goldfish if he had a sizable underbite. I only say this because we recently got a beta fish and the kids named him Jaws, which made me think if he had a protrusive jaw we could use this word to describe him. I suppose you could also use it if you ever found yourself out at a restaurant or bar with your girlfriends you could lean over and, using your hand to cover your mouth, whisper, “Did you see that guy with the prognathous jaw?” To which your friend would respond by wildly whipping her head around while imploring, “Who? Who?”
“Stop it! Sit still, and I’ll tell you. That guy. We passed him when we walked in. You couldn’t miss him. The one with the huge jaw.”
“Oh, that guy. Yeah, I saw him.”
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