Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Word of the Week, Flip flop edition

Here is something interesting to note...there are some pairs of words that can be juxtaposed in whatever order you please, and they'll still mean the same thing!  Here are some examples:

Did you know that ning-nong is the same as ding-dong?  Here's the rule, though, it's only interchangeable when you want to call someone a "clown, idiot, fool, rascal, or joker".  Hmmm...so it's not correct to say:

Laura's enthusiastic yanking of the rope caused the church bell to peal out with ning-nongs throughout Walnut Grove.

It would, however, be correct to say:

Laura thought Nellie was a total ning-nong.

So anyway, here is the next example.  The term willy nilly is the same thing as the term nilly willy.  The meaning of this term, of course, is "random, all over the place, without thought".  So, both these sentences would be correct:

Because of the faint aroma of cocoa about him, Helen willy nilly decided to support the senator's campaign.


Sarah's horrors were confirmed; the toddler had pulled the remaining toilet paper from the roll, tossing it nilly willy around the small bathroom.  Hmmm...that sentence seems very familiar to me for some reason...

So, as Jane Eyre says, "Will you, nill you, it is done!"  Perhaps she could have said, "Nill you, will you , it is done!"  Too bad Bronte isn't around to read this post.


  1. But can you wear flip-flops or flop-flips?? I love your word of the week posts. Very fun and I learn a thing or two.

  2. Sometimes, when I read your smart, educated, funny posts, I feel like such a ning-nong.