In a Word: Borborygmus

November 15, 2010|By John McIntyre, The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. Use it in a sentence in a comment here or on his blog, You Don't Say, and the best sentence will be featured next week. This week's word:

BORBORYGMUS

Borborygmus (pronounced bor-bo-RIG-mus) is the familiar rumbling or gurgling sound you hear as gas and fluid move through the intestines. It's a pretty direct steal from the Greek borborugmos, or "intestinal rumbling."

Example: In a newsroom, the ringing of telephones, the clatter of fingers on keyboards, and the muttered swearing of copy editors combine in a continual background borborygmus as information is transformed into news.

Last week: A correspondent sent some examples of last week's word, irenic, including this one: Compared to the debate over "could care less," the American elections were positively irenic.

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