Tag Archives: articulate


25 Nov

vomit word girlMine’s vomit, what’s yours? It’s a funny thing, but apparently we each have words that we find hard, repulsive even, to use. There’s no reason to it seemingly, just an individual quirkiness that applies randomly. A young woman confessed to me recently that she couldn’t get her tongue round ‘bosoms’ (she’d need to be a contortionist to do that, ha ha). Whilst I have no problem with the b-word, I identified with her reluctance to use a noun she felt so strongly against.

My pet idiosyncrasy is ‘vomit’. Gross… I hate typing it even  – for me it’s one of those picture words that you can’t use without visualizing. See, actually gross. And the sound – just weird in a finger-nail-down-the-blackboard sort of way. It’s not the concept I despise: the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth and perhaps nose (derived from the Latin vomitāre). And I will comfortably declare myself or any other person in my vicinity to having been sick, to having chucked or thrown up, barfed (inelegant but bearable), heaved, puked (so laddish), retched and at a push, spewed although this last is borderline disturbing I have to admit. But I just can’t bear the v-word itself.

I’m not wild about womb – a tad less hateful but still I find it tricky to articulate. It starts off well then tails off into an inconsequential consonant that refuses to sound. I blame my mother and the vicar. Best explain: I recall at the age of 9 being delegated to read one of the nine lessons at the School Christmas Carol Concert. Up in the pulpit if you please, I was expected to relate how the angel told the Virgin Mary (Luke Chapter1 verse 31) she would “conceive in her womb”. I found it mortifyingly embarrassing to be addressing anatomical and gestational matters publicly at such an age. My angst was horrendously compounded as the ultimate sense of shame because at around the same time, my mother informed me she was pregnant with my sister. At such a prepubescent stage, the knowledge that mum had conceived something in her wooo…woo..womb (there, it’s out ) and what it took to make that happen was just de trop. I’ve since managed to have two children and averted my eyes from any mention of there being a place inside where they are grown.

So come on then. Let’s being having it: What is yours?