Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WWW - Pooh-Bah

Years ago I stumbled across this word in the dictionary - it was easy to spot. In my hardbound American Heritage Dictionary it was one of the guide words and it was love at first sight. Seriously, how could you not love this word?


It's fun just saying it. Of course, I should've known then, when I developed this irrational love for a totally random word, that I was destined for a life of all things language related.

Not one to be satisfied with looks and sound alone, I eagerly sought the definition of Pooh-Bah at the bottom right hand corner of my dictionary. Was I disappointed? No.

"A pompous ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them." -American Heritage Dictionary

Ah the satisfaction that there should be one word to describe this all-too-common phenomenon!

Perhaps this word is so perfect because it is actually the name of a character in an opera (Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado). Certainly the French equivalent - cumulard - just isn't as satisfying.

1 comment:

Rebecca Ward Design said...

I think the people editing the dictionary had a laugh over that definition. I love pooh-bah!