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. 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.

  6. 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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