Gee, it’s great to be here. G is a pretty good letter, it has more than one sound in and of its own, it can be combined with other letters to make even more amazing sounds and it’s a great start to some neat words.
One of the things I like about doing this little “series” of mine is that once I start trying to pinpoint just which words I would like to include as my favourites for the week I come across all sorts of other words (not necessarily of the current letter) that I either didn’t know at all (!) or that I recognized and used under only one definition when there may indeed be others. Kind of like the internet .. you look up one thing, you read about it, you follow a link to another page, you find something else interesting, you open another browser window since your current one already has 12 tabs and before you know it the school is calling wondering why you haven’t picked your child up for lunch. Words are like that for me.
Some of my favourite G words are quite common: gamut, gargantuan, glide, grace, giblets, gratuitous, guru and gazebo. Some are less so: gormless and ginnel. Some are downright uncommon: gamomania, gamophobia, gynarchy and gibus.
gamut — the complete range or scope of something. Often used in relation to emotions or feelings: Today his feelings ran the gamut of human emotions; he awoke after a bad night’s sleep feeling lost and desperate but by lunchtime his spirits had buoyed to a lightly buzzing feeling of well-being; dinner with friends followed by an evening out left him manically happy.
gargantuan — of immense size, volume, or capacity; gigantic! I mean, gigantic is pretty good in its own right, even sounds great — but gargantuan!! Sounds even better. Seems so much bigger than gigantic. Even bigger than ginormous. Seriously. Big.
glide — I love this word because I like gliding. To move smoothly and continuously as if without effort. Gliding through water. Gliding on ice. Gliding or soaring through the air. When I picture gliding through water, it is always underwater and I’m seeing how far I can get without any kicking or strokes. Gliding on ice is fabulous, whether on skates or just in your boots … you push as fast and as hard as you can and then you just slide, glide as far as you can. Gliding or soaring — my dad was a glider pilot, he started flying when he was a teenager; all three of us kids went with him at various times when we were growing up. It’s an amazing feeling, better than any roller coaster. I really want to take BoyGenius up some day, I think he’ll love it. I love watching gulls and hawks and vultures (other birds, too) as they glide effortlessly from one thermal lift to another, have even been known to pull off the road just to observe, always with a smile on my face.
grace — both a noun and a verb. I enjoy both. There are definitions for grace (noun) that refer only to christian theology, implying that the only true meaning is the one that says grace is a free gift from God, unmerited divine assistance. I prefer elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action; refinement of movement. All of which can be a gift from God, if that’s what you believe. I also enjoy the idea of the Three Graces of mythology. As a verb, grace is a beautiful word: to honour or favour; to give beauty, elegance or charm to (see the Three Graces of mythology!).
giblets — The liver, heart, gizzard, and neck of a chicken or other fowl, usually removed before the bird is cooked, and often used to make gravy. There isn’t really much to say about this word, I just love the sound of it. And I love me some good chicken or turkey gravy. 🙂
gratuitous — can be something good, can be something bad. I like using it both ways, I have no shame. Given or received without cost or obligation, without return or recompense. This is a good thing. Uncalled for, lacking good reason, unwarranted. This is a bad thing. Gratuitous violence in films comes to mind. Bad thing. Good word.
guru — (in Hinduism and Buddhism) A spiritual teacher, esp. one who imparts initiation; a teacher and guide in spiritual and philosophical matters; a trusted counselor and adviser, a mentor; a recognized leader in a field. Whether you see this is a spiritual sense or not, I think it’s a gift to be able to find a guru. I also love the sound of the word. I think I would love to be seen as a guru. Wouldn’t you? To me it imparts a sense of wisdom, grace, calm; being a stabilizing force in someone’s life while teaching them to fly on their own.
gazebo — a small open-sided structure, freestanding, with a roof. Provides shade and some shelter. I want one. Someday. I love saying the word gazebo.
gormless — dull or unintelligent. Not used very much in North America. I watch a lot of british television .. gormless gets used a lot.
ginnel — a narrow passageway between buildings. Also a british term, we’d be more likely to call it an alley, but I really like the way ginnel sounds (hard g).
gamomania and gamophobia — I’ve got to admit I didn’t know these words before yesterday. I like them. gamomania: a passion or obsession for making odd or extravagant (or bizarre) marriage proposals. gamophobia: the fear of getting married or being in a relationship. Nowadays people usually just call it “fear of commitment.” They should use gamophobia or say the person in question is gamphobic. Sounds way better.
gynarchy — government or rule by women. Used most often these days to describe the social structure of some insects (wasps, bees, ants) where the only the female parent takes part in establishing the colony. I think it’s one of those words that should be used quite often but would probably be misused more often than not.
Finally, gibus — I just found this word .. it is apparently a hat worn to the opera. If any “event hat” should have a name of its own, I think an opera hat would be it.
Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have favourite words that start with G. And for a little extra enlightenment on grace, give a listen to this Coldplay song. It’s a favourite of mine as well.