Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I recently discovered that I love the word “nefarious”. I was sitting in the movie theater with my three children watching Despicable Me 2 and one of the characters in the movie used that word. I thought about it for a second, and my five year old, Landon, asked me, “Mom, what’s nefarious mean?”
I wasn't sure of the exact meaning, so I said, “I’ll have to look it up in the dictionary and see.”
“Can’t  you just Google it?”
“Yes, but not in the middle of a movie.” I pointed toward the screen indicating to him that he was missing the action and sat there, contemplating this word and what it’s definition would be. Hearing a word that is rarely used in typical conversation has always felt a little bit like someone just gave me a beautifully wrapped gift, and I was just waiting to see what was inside.
Because of the way it was used in the movie and the sentence it was placed in, along with the character they were referencing with the word, my guess was that it was synonym for “despicable”. This is fitting, considering the title of the movie.
Immediately upon arriving home from the movie, I went to Google search on my phone. When I typed in nefarious, it brought up some suggested searches: “nefarious dictionary,” “nefarious pickle,” and “nefarious merchant of souls.” (I yielded to temptation to select “nefarious pickle” based on name alone, however, thank goodness my safe search was on because it seems that this has some connection to a pornographic website. I’m not opposed to porn, just not when my five year old is there.) My search was simply for “nefarious”. The first hit was from www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nefarious. It lists the definition of nefarious as “flagrantly wicked or impious; evil.” So, my guess wasn't too far off, and I explained the word nefarious to Landon. Landon then accurately described his three year old brother’s most recent behavior as nefarious and went to eat an apple, satisfied in the results of Mom’s Google efforts.
I now use the word “nefarious” as part of my regular vocabulary as often as I can. For example: the dude in the cubicle next to me has overly loud conversations with his nefarious girlfriend regarding where they will eat dinner as if that’s the sort of thing two people in love should be upset over. Perhaps I’m nefarious for finding their discussion trivial and stupid; however, if I had a boyfriend I like to imagine our phone conversations would be more like, “Dude, I totally saw a unicorn on the way to work this morning, and there was a nefarious ninja riding it. I wonder where that guy works.”
Anyway, get your nefarious ass back to writing whatever it is you’re writing, and if there is an absence of a nefarious character in your story, perhaps it could benefit from one?
Anna Banana
A day late and many dollars short. 

1 comment:

Patricia Kiyono said...

Welcome to blogging with GRRWG, Anna! You're right about using new words to help them become a part of our vocabulary. And you're equally right about our stories needing a nefarious character. Now I'll get to work and start creating one.