A coarse, gross, brassy word. It carries its sense on its loud lapels: you hear, on the one side, the whole host of angry, crusty, growling, gritting cr and especially cra words – crap, crash, crack, crab, all made for spitting and growling; on the other side, the blatt of ass, a rude end, like a dismissive wave of the hand and a hiss. A few millimetres of vowel height separate this word from a leafy green (botanically a crucifer, and indeed on the way to cross), but between [æ] and [E] what a difference there can be. This word does not keep the most pleasant of company – indifference is a common playmate – and even where found in the company of such unexceptionable words as tastes and manners it lowers the tone to the bottom of the trash can. Anglo-saxon though it may sound, however, it’s Latin in street clothes: crassus meant fat, dense, thick, that kind of sh*t.
Be a patron!Support Sesquiotica and get extra premium content and goodies. Starts as low as $1 a month! Find out more and subscribe on Patreon.com
I am for hireI earn my living as an independent editor, writer, and educator. Find out more and contact me at jamesharbeck.com.
Buy the T-shirt (or coffee mug or hip flask)
Wear it proudly:
I operate on a NEED-TO-KNOW basis. I need to know EVERYTHING.
Buy it at cafepress.ca/sesquiphernalia
12 Gifts for Writers ebook – free download
Buy my books
Buy my books on Lulu.com:
- Confessions of a Word Lush (paperback)
- Confessions of a Word Lush (ebook)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (paperback)
- Songs of Love and Grammar (ebook)
- 12 Gifts for Writers (print edition)
You can also get them on Amazon.com. Please note that I make less than half as much per book if you buy them there, however.
Word Tasting Notes Google groupGet just the word tasting notes daily by email – join the Google Word Tasting Notes group.
- Coffice Space
- from the bookshelf
- language and linguistics
- new old words
- Poetry Minute and a Half
- pronunciation tips
- The Week
- Word Country
- word pictures
- word portraits
- word reviews
- word sommelier
- word tasting notes