Rapscallion was robbed.
September 25, 2012 8:54 AM   Subscribe

Starting with a bracket for every letter of the alphabet, a bracket suggested by readers and a "Fuck" play-in bracket, blogger Ted McCagg just finished a contest for the Best Word Ever. In the running were Umpteen, Eke, Isthmus, Skedaddle and Akimbo. The Final Four. The finals. The champion. [Via The Paris Review & Kottke.]
posted by mediareport (68 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I guess it's a little late to ask you all to vote #1 quidnunc.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:57 AM on September 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


That #1 word caused me to get second place in a spelling bee when I was in the seventh grade. I'm still mad about it.
posted by box at 9:00 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just checked the "H" bracket - how did "Haver" not make it in?
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:03 AM on September 25, 2012


I was just thinking the "H" cracked was flawed for not including "Hoosegow"! But "Hornswaggle" was a strong contender.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 9:04 AM on September 25, 2012


How does fucker beat fuckpig? It's a fix!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:05 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


YES! I have used the best word FOUR times in my MeFi posting history. And I even spelled it correctly once.
posted by maudlin at 9:05 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


er, bracket. and "Hornswoggle."
posted by demonic winged headgear at 9:05 AM on September 25, 2012


Penultimate didn't make it either. Maybe it was next.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hornswaggle wuz robbed!
posted by drezdn at 9:09 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


How can they decide when Interminable's first round match with Möbius is still going on?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:12 AM on September 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


WHERE THE FUCK IS PENUMBRA
posted by IjonTichy at 9:15 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET THE REGULAR REFS BACK THIS IS A JOKE
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:15 AM on September 25, 2012 [31 favorites]


How can they decide when Interminable's first round match with Möbius is still going on?

It was a one-sided contest.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:16 AM on September 25, 2012 [27 favorites]


Why must simple peasant folk such as meself be subject to the whims of the literati on such a grand contest?

I had hoped it would span the entire dictionary to come to a conclusive decision. . .
posted by ~Bert at 9:16 AM on September 25, 2012


uh, I've been pronouncing best word wrong, not that I've actually used it in a sentence, so I'm changing my vote to pixilated.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:18 AM on September 25, 2012



Yes, it should use the entire dictionary. And of course to be done right it should be crowd-sourced, not the capricious whims of a random blogger.
posted by bitslayer at 9:20 AM on September 25, 2012


Penultimate didn't make it either. Maybe it was next.

This might be the penultimate comment-generating thread on metafilter for the past week (after the Romney self destructs own campaign thread)
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:23 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dismayed to see that "showrunner" missed out again.
posted by metaBugs at 9:24 AM on September 25, 2012


Too much padding with lame words.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:26 AM on September 25, 2012


I would have liked to see fluidity in the F bracket (though it would be impossible to beat the most flexible word in the English language), but pleased to see zephyr get its just dues.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:28 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was out of my office pool after round 1. Thanks for nothing, flibbertigibbet!
posted by Mister_A at 9:32 AM on September 25, 2012


Don't know about 'best', but zyzygy is the most beautiful word ever and it didn't even make the list :(
posted by sexyrobot at 9:32 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll just go ahead and assume "pants" is already in the Word Hall of Fame.
posted by bondcliff at 9:34 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I call shenanigans. The winner is clearly flibbertigibbet.
posted by BeeDo at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2012


A bubble sort could have resolved this in microseconds.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2012


No schwa?
posted by chavenet at 9:48 AM on September 25, 2012


zyzygy is the most beautiful word ever and it didn't even make the list

Maybe because it's not a word? Are you thinking of syzygy?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 9:49 AM on September 25, 2012


Is it not 'kerfluffle'?
posted by Sing Or Swim at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Serendipity" lost to "segue" in the first round? I call shenanigans!

(Oh, look, there it is, beating out "segue".)
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


No caltrop?
No chamfer?
No smegma?



Illiterates.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:02 AM on September 25, 2012


No ubiquitous?
No circumnavigate?
No cymbal?




It is to weep.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:06 AM on September 25, 2012


The best word is "cerulean"

Bonus also the best color
posted by palidor at 10:09 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


No smegma?

Smegma got off to a fast start but didn't make it inside.
posted by chavenet at 10:13 AM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


No prestidigitator?!?
posted by papercake at 10:26 AM on September 25, 2012


How could "kerfuffle" make it through the K bracket but "brouhaha" not even make it anywhere in the B bracket. brouhaha, you coulda been a contender.
posted by spock at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hornswaggle wuz robbed!

Looking forward to the recrudescence of hornswaggle in next years tournament.
posted by incandissonance at 10:33 AM on September 25, 2012


NEEDS MORE SESQUIPEDALIANISM
posted by Mister_A at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2012


Modell: You know what word I'm not comfortable with? Nuance. It's not a real word. Like gesture. Gesture's a real word. With gesture you know where you stand. But nuance? I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong.
posted by the sobsister at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2012


I once read Funk and Wagnall's as a child looking for great words. I remember sorting out my favorites by letter (and still remember) asphodel, bashi-bazouk, crookneck, deadpan... yada-yada-yada... ziggurat.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:42 AM on September 25, 2012


No bamboozle? No Highfalutin? This isn't a list, expect a large Brouhaha.
posted by cccorlew at 10:47 AM on September 25, 2012


zyzygy is the most beautiful word ever and it didn't even make the list

Maybe because it's not a word? Are you thinking of syzygy?


Classic Mefi trash talk.
posted by yoink at 10:57 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The sentiment in these comments makes it obvious: Metafilter needs to hold one of these.
posted by egypturnash at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


And of course to be done right it should be crowd-sourced

If you did that 4chan would descend upon the contest and we'd end up with the best word being "wut".
posted by ymgve at 11:01 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This isn't a list, expect a large Brouhaha.

And a lot of balderdash and ballyhoo. Don't worry, though. It's only talk.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:12 AM on September 25, 2012


And a lot of balderdash and ballyhoo. Don't worry, though. It's only talk.

I'm not sure. I feel a real donnybrook a comin'.
posted by cccorlew at 11:19 AM on September 25, 2012


never used baby shoes: "I just checked the "H" bracket - how did "Haver" not make it in"

If we're going to allow Scottishisms, clearly the "H" entry should be "hornygolloch", Scots for earwig. "Scoople an' scaly, he has twa horns and a cantle o' feet an' a forkie tailie," as Burns says.

It's actually written as two words in the linked article, but I've seen it written as a single word and hyphenated, too, so I'm allowing it.
posted by Jakey at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2012


This is useless without "sasquatch."

SASQUATCH!
posted by Navelgazer at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2012


WHERE THE FUCK IS PENUMBRA

In the shadow of diphthong.
posted by ersatz at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2012


No way "smegma" loses to "sphincter!" I call "shenanigans!" Heh. (That one lost to "scalawag.") You're all a bunch of ne'er-do-wells.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:50 PM on September 25, 2012


Phlegm isn't a real P word. Penultimate and Penumbra are good, but I like the nice and simple Plum.

B should have been Boustrophedon. The world's greatest etymology.
posted by painquale at 12:51 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


That being said, this is a very good list. Akimbo, Umpteen, Juggernaut, Wonk... all strong contenders.
posted by painquale at 12:54 PM on September 25, 2012


The nice thing is, you can use your diphtong to cover both your gherkin and your sphincter.
posted by stargell at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Curses! No callipygian? C'mon who's in charge of this thing?
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:12 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rapscallion was robbed

And avuncular was ambushed, abducted, abased, abused, amatuerly abrogated, and abandoned. Shameful.
posted by buzzv at 2:56 PM on September 25, 2012


I swear to God I'm going to pistolwhip the next guy who says "shenanigans."
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:59 PM on September 25, 2012


Creator of this list/tournament is clearly a ragamuffin.
posted by dogwalker at 3:26 PM on September 25, 2012


Stymied by a callipygian jackanapes.

SHENANIGANS!
posted by mrgrimm at 4:15 PM on September 25, 2012


Imbroglio.


posted by lordaych at 6:44 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Html fail, that was supposed to say "drops mic" at the end.

×drops mic*
posted by lordaych at 6:46 PM on September 25, 2012


Gazebo wasn't included because it is in a field of its own.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:33 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have an inordinate fondness for kerfuffle.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:50 PM on September 25, 2012


This is the correct list.

Other than a couple of words whose superiority (or bestness) depend on mood, there is no debate (wiggle room) on the matter :

Zephyr
Yokel
Xenphobe
Vamoose
Umpteen
Tincture
Skedaddle
Rapscallion
Quixotic
Pantaloon
Olfactory
Nubile
Miasma
Lugubrious/Lozenge
Kiosk
Jodhpurs
Isthmus
Hoodwink
Gesticulate
Flummox
Egregious
Discombobulate
Chartreuse/Canoodle
Betwixt/Bicuspid
Akimbo

In addition, Wiggle room would be a good name for a young person's dancing/music club.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 4:56 AM on September 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


You got 'egregious' right, so I'm inclined to believe you. But for some reason I can't fully trust you, devious truculent and unreliable, though I can't put my finger on it.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:55 AM on September 26, 2012


You forgot W. Or is there no W word worthy of the list? Or is Wiggle meant to be on there?
posted by painquale at 11:21 AM on September 26, 2012


Wrassle, Wrangle, Whirligig, Wampum, Wroth?
posted by BrotherCaine at 8:01 PM on September 26, 2012


The best word is "cerulean"

i prefer "ultramarine" ...it's like the ocean...but better!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:38 PM on September 26, 2012


I'm going to plump for pulchritude. It's almost zaftig in its ungainliness.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:44 AM on September 27, 2012


The W was removed by the Clinton's staff.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:51 AM on September 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


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