Friday, September 23, 2011

And They Shall Be Called Nubbins

Have you ever thought that certain words have the wrong meaning assigned to them? Take suffrage, for example. It sounds so much like suffer, yet it means something so different. I remember a comedy show that did a segment where they walked around on the street, asking women if "women's suffrage should be ended." And most of the women said, "yes!" Little did they realize they were actually calling for the end for women's right to vote.

In the same way, I feel that the word nubbin just hasn't had a fair kick at the can. Anyone who has read Margaret Atwood's pre- and post-apocalyptic novel, Oryx and Crake has heard how the word nubbin is used. It is basically the slang term for the chicken meat that people eat in the future, where chickens have been genetically engineered to be big blobby mounds of chicken breast only, and they don't even have heads or legs... just prime breast meat. Yeah, gross, huh?

On the other hand, the word nubbin has such a pleasant feel on my tongue that I can not stand the injustice of it having such a distasteful association. It nub... nub... like rub... bin... bin... buh, buh, buh... so soft on the lips...

I'm knitting away on Susan Pandorf's Sugar Snap Scarf, which is full of little "peas" made from bobbles. When I think of bobbles, I usually think of big chunky knots of yarn that bounce around on the fabric's surface. These little bobbles are small and delicate and endearing to be called by such a ruffian term. I think they deserve a better name.

Enter the nubbin. Cute. Nubbly. Nubbins.

Call the Oxford Dictionary, people. We've got a new definition.


  1. Great yarn choice, it makes your scarf all nubbly. (Is that proper usage of your redefined word?)
    I love seeing all the shawls and scarves you choose. They are lovely!

  2. I think that counts as proper usage of the word. It is the adjective form of it, anyway...