The Word Nerd Quiz

Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month? Participants in NaNoWriMo, as it’s commonly called, commit to writing a 50,000-word manuscript in 30 days. If you haven’t started your novel, it’s not too late—you’re only 1,666 words behind. (Unless, of course, you’re reading this on Sunday, in which case you’re 3,332 words behind. Better get busy.)

I should have no trouble tapping out 1,666 words a day since I’m again sidelined from tennis. More shoulder woes. I’m hoping it won’t take too much longer before I’m back on the court. In the meantime, I’m relegated to the lesser role of gongoozler.

Isn’t that fun to say? Gongoozler! As you’ve no doubt surmised, it means spectator. You can also use it as a verb—gongoozle—but after looking that up online, I’ve discovered an alternate meaning I’d prefer not to invoke. I’ll leave you to uncover that particular definition on your own—I am NOT going there.

Yes, I know. Now you want to go there. Fine. I’ll wait while you go google it…

(Ick, right? Why is there even a word for that?!)

I, for one, am not about to let the pervs usurp and distort this wonderful word. I’m going to say it with pride, or as much pride as one can muster sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else have all the fun. I’m the gongoozler!

Over the last week, I’ve learned a slew of other excellent words, courtesy of Joe Gillard’s Little Book of Lost Words. And because I’m always thinking of you, I’ve done the hard work of digging into this collection, identifying ten fun and useful words to throw around at our tennis matches.

What’s more, you’ll be able work these words into your NaNoWriMo manuscript. Now you only have to write another 49,990. You’re welcome.

Learning new words is fun. You know what else is fun? Vocabulary quizzes! Because nothing says weekend like a pop quiz.

The Vocab Quiz

7 thoughts on “The Word Nerd Quiz

Add yours

  1. I laughed out loud. Yes, I had to go Google it. And why IS there a word for that? Gross! Neither party wins in that deal. Who even had that thought? Just yuck!

    How is the novel coming along? 30 days. That’s good for breaking away from overthinking.

    And how late were you posting this?!

    1. I know. Different strokes for different folks, I guess? I know I’m supposed to say “no judgment,” but I have to say, I’m feeling a little judge-y about that one.

      On the other hand, maybe those folks will discover this blog while they’re googling gongoozling. Pervs play tennis, too, after all. LittleYellowBall should be a welcoming blog.

      Welcome, pervs! 😊🎾

      The novel is crawling along. Who knew writing a novel was so hard?

  2. awesome as always. When I am looking for odd and expressive words, I go to yiddish which is a treasure cove. Schpilkas, schlepp (most ppl know that as meaning to be burdened by carrying things), schlemiel (a “have-not” which people who are not woke use to describe others they maybe feel sorry for), and schep (as into “schep nachas” which means to be proud of someone) are all yiddish. Furthermore, I picked these few because they kind of sound alike and result in spit leaving your mouth when you do the “shhhh” sound right. (can you guess that i’ve just returned from seeing a yiddish version of Fiddler on the roof?)

    1. You forgot schmutz! As in, “wait a second, you have schmutz on your face.”

      Maybe the schmutz is all the spittle you sprayed while speaking Yiddish!

Let me know what you think!

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: