“I’m not very creative,” she said.
“Pish tosh,” I replied. “You’re extremely creative. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
“Yeah. Think of it as an alternative to ‘tsk’”
My friend suggested that she should start saying pish tosh every so often, but I doubt she will. She doesn’t strike me as the kind that would tsk anyone. She’s a lot more respectful than that.
From there, we talked about how many ways there are to express disapproval, contempt, disbelief, irritation, and in general, how easy we find it to be dismissive in the English language. We are quite good at discounting the beliefs of others as trivial or inconsequential. Once you start thinking of all the available words and phrases of this type, it is really quite shocking.
What follows is a list that is by no means comprehensive. I suspect you can come up with a few of your own. The fact that I can’t get through a day without using at least one of these says something about me that I don’t find particularly attractive.
Bah, bah humbug, balderdash, baloney, blah, blarney, blather, blatherskite, blither, bosh, bs, bull, bunk, bunkum, claptrap, codswallop, cough, crap, crapola, crock, drivel, drool, fiddle, fiddle-faddle, fiddlesticks, flapdoodle, folderol, folly, foolishness, fudge, garbage, guff, hogwash, hokeypokey, hokum, hoodoo, hooey, horse puckey, horsefeathers, humbug, humbuggery, malarkey, nonsense, nuts, OK Boomer, phooey, piffle, piffle waffle, poppycock, pshaw, punk, rot, rubbish, senselessness, silliness, slush, stupidity, talk to the hand, tommyrot, tosh, trash, trumpery, twaddle.
I think that perhaps we should move away from this habit of being flippant, and move more toward being supportive and inclusive. But will we? Probably not, as long as there are so many creative ways to contradict others.
Which leads me to the last two words I came up with: Ugh, whatever.
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