I have, it seems, a childish weakness for words that sound like what they mean. Not in the crude onomatopoetic sense (or not only in that sense) but in a rhythmically or associatively suggestive way. I think it’s the rhythm of this one that makes it fall under this category:

judder: per the OED, “To shake violently, esp. of the mechanism in cars, cameras, etc.; also of the voice in singing, to oscillate between greater and less intensity.” — I think the oscillation is there in the violent shake too, hence the association with mechanisms.

I find myself reaching for this word a lot, and I think it’s the discontinuity in the middle, the “dd” that cuts off the sound abruptly, like your teeth coming together as you are shaken rhythmically by a crude, juddering engine. I also like to use it for things which judder to a halt, in which case you can imagine the “jud” repeating and the “der” as the final sigh of repose. Judjudjudjudjudder. Phew.


New comment

required, won't be displayed (but may be used for Gravatar)


Don't type anything here unless you're an evil robot:

And especially don't type anything here:

Basic HTML (including links) is allowed, just don't try anything fishy. Your comment will be auto-formatted unless you use your own <p> tags for formatting. You're also welcome to use Textile.

Copyright © 2017 Felicity Shoulders. All rights reserved.
Powered by Thoth.