Results 1 to 10 of 10

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,890
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Are they commonly used words?

    Hello

    I have these words:
    pestinential, kerfuffle, retch, galumph, tosh

    I was wondering if they are commonly used words in the English language.

    If I picked out 100 people randomly on the street in an English speaking country, how many of them would know all these words?

    Thanks


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Not that many.

    Should the first one be "pestilential"?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Not that many.

    Should the first one be "pestilential"?

    As to "retch", it could so easily be confused with "wretch".
    ..


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,890
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Not that many.

    Should the first one be "pestilential"?
    Thanks Anglika.

    That "not that many", what would you say their educational background should be?

    Thanks


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    Thanks Anglika.

    That "not that many", what would you say their educational background should be?

    Thanks
    Literate.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,890
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    ..
    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Literate.


    Furthermore?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    I don't know. You aer choosing 100 people at random. I suppose you look at what sort of clothes they are wearing, what newspaper they might be carrying, try to overhear what they sound like as they speak.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Many of the words you mentioned are of Yiddish origin, so if you asked 100 people in (for example) New York City's garment district, which has a large Jewish population, no doubt at least 90 percent of those you asked would recognize "retch," "tosh," "kerfuffle" and "galumph." In a larger metropolitan area, maybe 50 percent of the responders would know these words. If you took your survey in a rural community in Mississippi, very few would be familiar with any of those words.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,817
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    Where are we going with this?

    =O.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,448
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: Are they commonly used words?

    You tell us.

    I think the answer to the original poster is that they are not particularly commonly used words [notably the first one, which still puzzles me]

Similar Threads

  1. Alien Words in English
    By thedaffodils in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-May-2008, 12:14
  2. Slang words
    By hopechest in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 31-Jan-2007, 07:36
  3. Pronunciation of 'wh-" words
    By Joseph Ho in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-May-2006, 17:31
  4. Obscure words in vocabulary
    By Lsnewton in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Mar-2006, 16:04
  5. Alphabetizing Words
    By ohiomanager in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2006, 11:26

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •