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Cool word of the month, May 2005

brill (English, adjective; slang, British) - brilliant, cool

Writes renowned computational linguist Eric Brill:
In British-English, BRILL is slang for brilliant, cool. Tragically, this is not yet the case for American-English. In an effort to bring this usage to America, I am offering the following deal. I will pay $50.00 to any Hollywood producer who creates a movie where the word BRILL is used at least once to mean brilliant, cool.* Some examples: "Wow, that was so BRILL". "I used to think you were a loser but now I realize I was so wrong. You are BRILL. Amazingly BRILL. Perhaps the BRILLest person I have ever met". "BRILL".

*Conditions: The movie must gross at least $10 million. The actor who utters the expression CAN NOT be Richard Gere. The movie must not be a pornographic movie, nor a remake of the 1978 smash hit The Wiz.

Wow... that's the first non-noun in almost a year!

Previous months' cool words:

April, 2005: ܟܐܦܐ [kepa, transliterated kephas] (Aramaic, noun) - great rock
March, 2005: mashin (Farsi, noun) - automobile
February, 2005: perkele (Finnish, noun) - devil (also an expletive)
January, 2005: kinu (Japanese, noun) - silk
December, 2004: krung (Thai, noun) - city, cf. krung thep (city of angels, old name of Bangkok)
November, 2004: tane (Archnin, noun) - blood (see tanelos)
October, 2004: izulu (Zulu, noun) - interplanetary space
September, 2004: phensem (Tibetan, noun) - an beneficent attitude towards others
August, 2004: si2 pu3 (Chinese, noun) - recipe (literally, "meal score")
July, 2004: entspannung (German, noun) - relaxation
June, 2004: anapauesthai (Koine Greek, verb) - to stand still
May, 2004: tvære (Norwegian, verb) - to stretch, especially a conversation or a farewell (definition provided by tamf)
April, 2004: ber-engro (Romany, noun) - lit. "ship's master", a mariner
March, 2004: calad (Sindarin, noun, "light")
February, 2004: su (Chinese, adjective/noun) - 1. flaky; 2. a baked good with a crisp or flaky consistency, such as a cookie
January, 2004: pizdarija (Croatian, noun; vulgar) - something messed-up, feeble, or ridiculous (definition provided by jereeza)
December, 2003: basherte (Hebrew, noun) - "apportioned one" (implication of predestined/ordained mate; courtesy of yahvah)
November, 2003: panmictic (English, adjective, "exhibiting random mating within a breeding population")
October, 2003: kreteno (Esperanto, slang noun, "idiot")
September, 2003: kawai (Japanese, adjective, "cute")
August, 2003: ser (Spanish, intransitive verb, "to be")
July, 2003: cordillera (Spanish, noun, "principal mountain system of a continent")
June, 2003: kallüsáráyam (Tamil, noun, "illicit liquor")
May, 2003: hoh (Singlish, particle, "connective expression of expected agreement")
April, 2003: tmesis (English, noun, "separation of the parts of a compound word for humorous effect")
March, 2003: nerazreshimost (Russian, noun, "undecidability")



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 7th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC)
Great, next someone will try to get americans to say 'sorted' and 'ace' and 'naff'. Cos OMG brill is so like BRILL cos it's like Take That were like OMG so brill and so not naff and yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah being brill is like, brill. Innit.
May. 7th, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC)
LOL! Wizard!
You rilly oughter get more people to say "wizard".

May. 8th, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)
Re: LOL! Wizard!
Sorry, I'm too young to have used that one, even if I can remember it.

I have recently considered talking to you in geordie sometime though. Blame listening to Sherlock Holmes radio adaptations while I was drawing, and students who say every sentance like a question. Like.
May. 8th, 2005 08:04 am (UTC)
Re: LOL! Wizard!
LOL, has it really been that long?

Go ahead, talk to me in geordie! Aslong as ittisnt cuss words (or as long as yew teach them to me), 'tis fine...

May. 7th, 2005 10:06 pm (UTC)
'Brill' is one of the older, generally accepted, colloquial British words I know -- as opposed to those I learnt when I was older. There was even a character in early editions of Doctor Who Monthly called that (circa 1980, an alien Wolfman who befriended the Doctor).

I have nowhere to go with this comment. And I still owe you a reply to something else. So please accept this as a half apology for the delay in replying.
May. 7th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)
Reminds me too much of Brillo pad...I would think a brill person was very abrasive. ;-)
May. 8th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
Scratchy MacGyver?
Reminds me too much of Brillo pad...I would think a brill person was very abrasive. ;-)

But by that token, think how it must feel to dress in medical scrubs... ;-)

May. 8th, 2005 01:02 am (UTC)
Re: Scratchy MacGyver?
Yes, but you know why they are called 'scrubs', right? You put those on after you scrub yourself down for surgery (or some other environment in which you want to minimize risk of contamination).
May. 8th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
Yes, but you know why they are called 'scrubs', right? You put those on after you scrub yourself down for surgery (or some other environment in which you want to minimize risk of contamination).

Oh, yes, I know. Ohhhh, yes.
My mom's a med tech, and so I've been instructed to "scrub in" since the age of about... oh, 4.

And people wonder why I decided not to go for an M.D.... :-D

May. 9th, 2005 09:13 pm (UTC)
Brill is nice, but I like izulu the best. You just can't beat that kind of linguistic ingenuity.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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