Monday, 30 July 2012

A new F-word!

Just happen to have a sabre and a foil!
I'm probably not alone in enjoying the word 'flunge', which has surfaced in the Olympics fencing commentary. It's a sort of forward lunge thingy ( f + lunge?) that allows you to cover a lot of space between you and your opponent as you advance with your sabre. One fencing website helpfully defines it as: 'A fleche without the crossover'. So now I've got to look up 'fleche': it's the longest extension a fencer's body can make, in case you're interested.

I'm proofreading a financial text at the moment and came across the word 'fungible'. Surely, I thought, that must be a typo? But no: it's a real word, meaning: 'interchangeable, exchangeable for something similar'. Good to know.

But below that my eye was caught by 'fungo: in baseball a ball struck high into the air for fielders to practise catching'. Scanning through the page I also saw 'furan', 'furbish' (what you do before you refurbish, I suppose) and 'furibund'. You could lose many an hour bouncing from one definition to the other.

Family legend has it that my late uncle - no mean writer - spent much of his childhood reading the dictionary for fun. That must be where I get it from.

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