Monday, May 18, 2009

Disgusting? from Anonymous

Dear Word Spy,

What word sounds really disgusting 2u but isn't?

from Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Now that is a fascinating (if strange) question...

Aha! I know. There's a word "degustation" that you sometimes see on the menu in a restaurant. I always think it's saying there's something disgusting to eat. But actually it means a plate of lots of little delicious things to eat. Yum!

The reason the two look so alike is because they come from the same word, (yep, Latin again!) "Gusto" means "I taste." The "dis" means something bad, so a bad taste. Whereas "de" means "from", so little tastes from something.

And do you know the word "gusto"? It's one of my favourite words. It means being enthusiastic and eager - having a "taste" for life!

(But nothing to do with "gust", which is from an old Viking word, meaning a blast of cold wind...)

Yours gustily any old way,

The Word Spy

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