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Wordy Wares

Apr 24, 2013

by Shoko Wanger handmade and vintage goods

In 1934, Robert Pirosh penned a cover letter of sorts, in hopes of finding a Hollywood screenwriting job. In it, he declares: “I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady.” He goes on to list others that strike his fancy: grapple, churl, halcyon, drip. His love affair with language is unmistakable (though Pirosh may have preferred to use the word indubitable. Or palpable. Or unambiguous.) As a writer, and someone who has also had a lifelong obsession with words, I can relate. Below, a Sho & Tell ode to wordiness, Etsy-style.

[1. I Shall Bring You Happiness greeting card by Laura Gee Illustration; 2. 5″ screenprinted dish by mbartstudios; 3. Ernest Hemingway print by ohmydeer; 4. Let Your Mind Wander pencils by Amanda Catherine Designs; 5. Set of 5 Hearts by adatine.]

Is there a happier word than home? A dreamier word than wander? A more comforting affirmation than everything is going to be ok? Celebrate happiness with a collection of bright-white pencils, a set of hand-stitched hearts, a colorful card, or a one-of-a-kind ceramic dish. The Hemingway quote is a personal favorite; I’ve always thought it exuded coziness, warmth, a light heart.


[1. Time Wasting Experiment letterpress print by Alyson Provax; 2. Nabokov quote tote by Cloudshaped; 3. I Want You to Notice poster by Sacred & Profane; 4. LOSER party banner by napkin; 5. Sad Girls Issue 1 by Sad Girls.]

On the flip side: heartache, heartbreak, getting lost. Sad words are often among the most arresting. In the best cases, a sensitive heart inspires creativity, as is the scenario with Sad Girls, a zine spearheaded by a group of girls “who make things and have lots of feelings.”

[1. Moonrise Kingdom wooden hoop by RugglesMade; 2. Be Obscure Clearly tote bag by MsSpanner; 3. Kurt Vonnegut art print by ObviousState; 4. Chosen Words poem by Brooke Schmidt; 5. Anaïs Nin print by Lisa Congdon.]

On a contemplative note, introspective musings from three prolific writers, a typewritten Moonrise Kingdom hoop, and a poem, pretty as a picture, made from words borrowed from antique pages.

[1. Bohemian rock collection by Cori Kindred; 2. Oh la la organic cotton tote bag by oelwein; 3. Sweet Heavenly Molasses print by Kate Moore Creative; 4. I Love What You Hate printed tea towel by Robert Ryan; 5. Red Animal Postcards by furze chan; 6. I Am a Monster original ink painting by Faye Moorhouse; 7. Grey Arctic Animals poster by Banquet; 8. Twin Peaks brooch by Kate Rowland Illustration; 9. White planter and saucer by RossLab; 10. Turtle pin by ButtonMunch.]

Lastly, what would a tribute to language be without a dose of whimsy? Robert Pirosh wrote, “I like sniggly, chuckling words, such as cowlick, gurgle, bubble and burp.” Surely he would appreciate molasses, monster, turtley, and percolator, too.

Do you have a favorite word?

3 Featured Comments

  • NinaRaizel

    Nina from NinaRaizel said 8 years ago Featured

    It's true that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case, text can bring on thousands of memories, emotions, and smiles. There's nothing like the perfect word or phrase to complete or even inspire a piece. Great finds! Meaningful words on beautiful items.

  • faginsdaughter

    Penny from faginsdaughter said 8 years ago Featured

    Oh favourite words, I could go on forever! Curmudgeon, plasma, mulberry, pulchritude, slobbering, hyperbole, clandestine, pontification, blog, escutcheon, petrify, gentrification, lollipop... and flamboyant tracery, which is all the fancy fan work on the ceiling of a cathedral. My friends and I have a game where we say words that sound rude/disgusting, but actually aren't- the trick is to say them in a slightly lecherous voice. Lecherous! What a great word.

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 8 years ago Featured

    I like funny words such as lizard, weasel, and chicken! Well, they're funny to me anyway! When my daughter was little, she called binoculars "binoculators" and she called a typewriter "typolater". We still call them that just for laughs!


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