C is for Charientism

C is for Charientism

Ok, the collective term for cats is clowder. I just had to say that. Clowder of cats. not a herd but a clowder. Guess that’s like a mope of goths or a stomp of rivets.


That said

Today’s word is Charientism <–click on it to hear the pronunciation.

I guess I’ve found my theme. My theme is unusual words. I’ve loved words and usual words especially, since well, as soon as I could read, which was rather early.

Charientism is a personal favorite, since it means something cruel that’s said in a nice or joking way…you know…Wow, that outfit looks good on you it makes your butt look so much smaller!

Kids do it all the time and it’s hurtful — So do adults. It’s that throwing up of the hands after you say something you know is offensive and saying “only kidding–you can’t get upset with

me because I was just joking. Can’t you take a joke?”

Totally not fair.

Actually if we look back in time, it meant something more –“an artfully veiled insult” which is not the thing actually when someone says “just kidding”

That’s not artful at all, but in today’s somewhat lazy world

I believe it is the equivalent. Justkidding


The derivation of charientism  is from the greek and means “gracefulness of style” which the “only kidding” statement surely is not.

I say for one day, if you are going to insult someone then ACTUALLY do it gracefully. Make it stylish, do it with flair. Don’t just be kidding, really mean it when you insult someone because otherwise, you are just

being a bit pathetic aren’t you. Channel Oscar Wilde: Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

or Dorothy Parker:

“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and she can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.”

or Groucho Marx:

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Gracefully insult that cranially impaired person that annoys you no end. I dare you!


My favorites come from Shakespeare though…and something I’ve actually been able to say once to someone who told me “I thought we were better friends,” to which I replied “I do desire we may be better strangers.”



  1. walnutsandpears

    Found you through the A-Z Challenge, fun word, excellent point. I concur. Just watched Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory with my son the other night and noted the tactful way Gene Wilder’s character insulted the rude children. I now have a word to describe it. Thanks!

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