22 October 2009

The spring has sprung, The grass is riz... or is it?

For all of my life - for my whole, entire life up until a week ago - I thought that 'riz' was an adjective that meant something along the lines of 'awesome'. You know, like 'It's springtime and the grass is so totally riz right now.'

Although, to say I thought that is perhaps a bit of an overstatement. I'd never actually stopped to consider it; I'd never defined it to myself. I just sort of felt it. It was the vibe of the thing.

Then, just the other day, I was walking around the back streets of North Fitzroy hoping to find a lemon tree hanging over a fence so I could nick a lemon or two, when it came to me in a blinding white flash. I had an epiphany: Riz actually means 'has risen'. The grass has risen. Oh, it makes such sense. It's in theme. It's a real word (sort of).

And yet, it's also disappointing. I feel robbed that 'riz' is just a comic version of a mildly pedestrian word.

I want MY riz back. But, alas, the magic's gone. It's not as if I ever used riz anywhere else ('You should definitely buy that dress, it's really riz on you.'*), but it was just there in that specific context, being riz. And now it's not.

We've explored words that sound as though they ought to mean something else, and words and phrases that often get mixed up, but have you ever been a little bit heartbroken to discover that a word wasn't what you thought it was? Do you ever intentionally misuse words because you like them better the way you thought they were? In short, have you ever been betrayed by a word?

*Although, with its real meaning, riz in a dress could be rather fetching on a lady with the right kind of legs.


Anonymous said...

I only ever cast "nasturiums". Can't seem to get the re-programming to work properly I guess. Doesn't bother me in the slightest, however.

"Riz" is still a great word. C.J. Dennis used it a few times, and that's good enough for me.

Perry Middlemiss

Brendan said...

Continuing on the floral theme, my Mum loves her foreseeable fuchsias and a girl I once knew described her new shoes as being pitch white.

Anonymous said...

I can so relate to this! Although the word that was stolen from me was so successfully stolen that I can't recall what it was...

Slightly off the track: when I was little, I was forever confused about fiction and non-fiction. My little literal brain could only get my head around 'true' and 'not-true', so I was forever getting them mixed up.


The Alien Onions said...

Katherine: Me too with the fiction/non-fiction disconnect. Me too!

Perry & Brendan: I aspire to cast nasturtiums and foresee fuchsias.


Misrule said...

This is more of a Mondegreen than a lost word, but when I was little I thought the line "pity my simplicity" from the child's prayer (Gentle Jesus) was "pity mice in plicity". I always wondered whether Plicity was a place or a state of being, and why the mice needed pitying for being there, but as it seemed to fit the overall tone of the prayer, I didn't question too deeply. Those mice, they sure needed pitying. Made sense to me, and that Jesus was certainly the man for the job.

Anonymous said...

When I was younger I always used to think that the last word in the expression "slow as a wet week" was actually spelt "weak", and referred to a "weakling" or unathletic person. Ruined the whole thing for me when I realised it actually meant a period of time.

Perry Middlemiss

Anonymous said...

lol my name is Riz, i think it should mean awesome ;) also "i WANT my Riz back" :D easy tiger <3