Roget and me

I have, for at least 13 years, used J.I. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder as my thesaurus of choice.  It’s the best I’ve found, and I love me a good thesaurus.

But today I had to question my preference. Working on a client project,  I wanted to find a term that connoted mental space, intellectual wiggle room, a physical distance from enclosure.

The Synonym Finder offered “enough room to swing a cat.”

Not quite what I was looking for.

As I flipped through, looking for another term, the book shouted, “lickspittle; legerdemain; inefficacy; ill-bred; debauchery; contumacious!” Well, that’s just rude.

I might be in the market for another thesaurus, if this one keeps misbehaving.

9 thoughts on “Roget and me

  1. There’s not enough wiggle room in my mental space to swing a cat, so the JC Synonym Finder offered “pooped” and “frazzled.”

  2. “lickspittle”? Well, that might be an interesting name for a swinging cat, anyway.

    (And now my brain is thinking of a cat dressed like Austen Powers going “Oh behave!”)

  3. I loved stumbling across lickspittle. It’s a synonym for toady, sycophant, and yes man, but is so thoroughly disgusting in its connotations I can’t get it out of my head.
    jc, I hear ya.
    Ink, the Synonym Finder just suggested caterwauling for Meyers. ;-)
    TKW, you are hilarious. I thought it was more “awash” than just “lick,” but maybe my memory of the story fails… ;-)

  4. From one word nerd to another, it just might be time to trade in for another model…

    And really, who the hell swings a cat and looks to make sure that there is enough room to do it? Seriously?

  5. My brothers used to swing our cat by the tail and see how far they could throw him. The winner got a 6-pack of Bass. Sycophantic lickspittles.

  6. I’m in a serious relationship with J. I. Rodale’s Synonym Finder too. It sits here right next to my computer, battered and worn, covered with lickspittle, and missing both cover and backside. But I love him still…. Just as long as he doesn’t start swinging cats at me.

  7. Lickspittle: sounds like eating a meal with my two children.
    Thanks for this fun post, from one thesaurus lover to another.

    (sorry to leave the url in my comments – so unsophisticated, but I can never tell if it shows up on another wordpress blog)

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