“That’s not a word.”
“Of course it’s a word!”
“Use it in a sentence.”
“The lady was hugeous…hugeously fat!”
“Nope. No! I’m challenging! That is not a word! It simply can’t be…”
Except it was.
I must have been eleven? Twelve? I sat at the edge of my seat and watched the stand-off with gleeful anticipation. I was old enough to appreciate getting a one-up (even vicariously) on our parents, sister enough to appreciate seeing my brother knocked down a peg…or three. Either outcome would be equally delicious. I licked my lips.
My brother was still living at home at the time, fifteen years old and convinced he couldn’t be wrong…about anything. Honestly? He hasn’t changed much.
In that moment though, watching him square off with my mother over the word “hugeous,” I was convinced he’d been caught out in a lie. I mean…hugeous? What a dumb-sounding word!
A dumb-sounding word that I have never forgotten, a dumb-sounding word that puts a dumb grin on my face to this day…because whenever I hear it, think it, speak it (and, honestly, I am the only person I know who uses this word), I think of word games at the dining room table, my father’s bemused hands-off attitude, my mother’s indignation (followed by threats of boycotting Scattergories in much the same fashion she’d taken to boycotting Scrabble), my brother’s smug I-told-you-so shrug and my own utter delight in the scene.
Some words aren’t pretty. Some words aren’t especially useful. Hugeous? Can’t we call it quits with huge? Gargantuan if we must? Do we really need another word for big?
And yet I love it, sort of like one takes to an ugly dog or an odd-ball aunt…because they are yours and therefore special.
Blogger's Note: I debated H. H has so many lovely words...hallow, harrow, holy. But, from the start of this A-Z blog endeavor, I just knew that H had to be hugeous...and, as with any multiple choice test, I went with that first impulse.
I've fallen behind a bit but hope to catch up before long.