Sitting on the bus the other day, for no reason at all I suddenly wondered to myself if there is some point wherein things aren’t deflated or inflated but just nicely ‘flated’? To my way of thinking [which few people seem to share, luckily] something deflated is rather sad and flat, whereby being inflated brings connotations of…well….Donald Trump and spacehoppers. [Yup the colour is very similar too!] Anyway, my mind wandered along happily to other words which don’t seem to have a positive or moderate form.
I have long been an advocate of the word gruntled – and it IS listed in the OED as a back-formation of its unhappier cousin. Gruntled is maybe the English version of the Danish Hygge – warm and settled by firelight with hot chocolate and a pizza or, well, whatever does it for you!
I dream of being kempt and hevelled . My usual ‘look’ is somewhere between Worzel Gummidge and an Old English Sheepdog. Actually, no, that wouldn’t be fair to those lovely Dulux dogs….they make shagginess into an art form, something I could never be accused of.
Kempt is, surprisingly, also in the OED – it relates mainly to beards and how nicely combed they are. I don’t have a beard, believe it or not, so maybe that’s why I never feel kempt? Hevelled, however, is not in the dictionary, but I reckon it’s a word we need desperately. Some women can get out of bed with not a hair out of place, then sit on a plane for hours and not have a crease in their clothes whereas I only have to breathe for all my clothes to go skew-whiff. Those people are definitely hevelled and, yes, I am jealous!