Dictionary Challenge Week Three: Alligator Pears & Animal Spirits

Friday night. Usually a night for carousing and participating in full-fledged scoundrel activity, but on this past Friday evening… this was me:

Reading the dictionary on a friday night

Talk about a rowdy time. So now that I’ve established my level of Super-Geek, let’s talk about my favourite words of this week:

  1. Amok (also amuck): run about wildly in an uncontrollable violent rage
  2. Airy-fairy: unrealistic, impractical, foolishly idealistic
  3. Alligator Pear: avocado
  4. Animal Spirits: natural exuberance
  5. Alpenglow: rosy light of the setting or rising sun on high mountains

Okay, so amok is usually used in the milder ‘be out of control’ sense of the word, but that’s what makes the above sense of the definition so much more awesome. It has historically been a cutesy word to me. As in the kids ran amok on her birthday all hopped up on icing sugar and pop. Now, realistically that means kids were blasting around the birthday party with pop-stained lips, an icing-encrusted knife, and fists flying. Not so cute. Actually, pretty damn terrifying. Like Children of the Corn if it happened at Suzie’s 8th birthday.

As for airy-fairy… I mean, come on. It’s just a goofy word. How could anyone not crack an appreciative smile when stumbling upon it in the dictionary? And alligator pear is just absolutely freaking awesome. It’s the perfect name for an avocado with its alligator-like skin and pear-shaped body. This one has already made it into my everyday terminology. As in I have actually been using it every day. That’s how thrilled I am about it.

The last two definitions have that nice, warm-in-my-belly feeling for me. It just seems so perfectly apt for natural exuberance to be called animal spirits. Raw feelings. Basic. Primitively pumped. Riding off into the sunset, the animal spirits rose within her just as her middle finger, too, rose…. You know that feeling. The one you get envisioning the telling off of your ex/your boss/your enemy/your whatever as you peace out for good. Nothing but pure animal spirit.

Or perhaps it should read more like this: Riding off into the alpenglow of the Canadian Rockies, the animal spirits rose within her just as her middle finger, too rose…. Now isn’t that a pretty picture? You’re already planning the speech for your own animal spirited alpenglow sayonara aren’t you?

Now, beyond these top 5 definitions there are some other gems that I came across this week. Like Almighty Voice who was Jean-Baptist… the guy who held off one hundred cops alongside two other people for two whole days until the cops blew the bluff he was on to kingdom come with cannonballs. And you know what it was all about? He illegally butchered a cow. I mean, that’s a pretty crazy outcome for something that probably didn’t really warrant an excessive stand-off and, ultimately, death. He butchered a cow. Albeit, illegally, but – you know… still.

This challenge has been pretty awesome – if not also extremely tedious – because I consider myself somewhat of a generalist and I’m getting hit with all sorts of random knowledge. There is so much more I’d like to say about week three, but you’ll just have to tune in for week 4 as I forge ahead.

Until next time.

Riding off into the alpenglow of the Canadian Rockies, the animal spirits within her rose as she bit into an alligator pear while flipping her middle finger up all airy-fairy as her ex ran amok in her so-long-sucker dust.

Week Three Stats

Starting word: -aholic                    Ending word: annuitant

Pages: 27-52                                    Total Pages: 52/1815

Ahead/Behind: -53 pages

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