A word I always forget

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Does it look sheepish?Do you have words you can never remember the meaning of? I do. One of these words is sheepish. For some reason, I am never quite sure what it means. I have to look it up in the dictionary every time I come across it.

Merriam-Webster says:

1 : resembling a sheep in meekness, stupidity, or timidity
2 : affected by or showing embarrassment caused by consciousness of a fault
– sheep·ish·ly adverb
– sheep·ish·ness noun

And why would sheep be meek, stupid or timid?
My Robert and Collins says penaud. However, I can see how you would feel sheepish / penaud, but not how you would LOOK sheepish / penaud.
It must be the sheep contained in sheepish that bothers me 😉

It’s really strange, because I used to read through, ignoring the words I didn’t understand, as long as they didn’t prevent me from understanding the general meaning of what I was reading, but now, I often take the time to stop and look for words.
Am I getting old?

Ronni Bennett did me the honour of publishing one of my stories, with slight changes at The Elder Storytelling Place. I hope you’ll go and read it there

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9 thoughts on “A word I always forget

  1. I can see “sheepish”. It’s sort of like, well, you know…sheepish-looking, right?
    Yeah, hard to describe when you don’t speak the language “natively’. Funny how that is. I feel a bit embarrassed (look at me, look at me). We need an emoticon for this.

  2. You can look sheepish (with that timid look in your eyes or a meek expression on your face) and you can be cowed (frightened by threats or as show of force). You can duck if somebody throws something at you, but then you might be called chicken. You can goose somebody who’s walking ahead of you. You can be dogged in your pursuit of a goal. And you can outfox your opponents. You can wolf down your food, and then you can horse around with your children or friends. Ken

  3. I think it may refer to the way sheep look when they have been sheared of their wool. They actually do look embarrassed at being naked.

    As I get older, I do look up unknown words more often than I used to, but I have been doing that since college.

  4. Like you, when I read something and come across a word that I do not know I just read along, as long as I get the gist of it.

    There are exception to that practice like the time years ago when I was reading a theatre review and the writer used the word “cacophonious.” I looked up the word and found out that it means a harsh disagreeable sound.

    I always remember what the word means but did I ever have a hard time trying to spell it!! I always forget that!!

    I read your story about you and your dad. He certainly was ahead of the times by giving you such very sound advice. And what a reader he was!! Lucky you to have had a dad like that.

  5. Ni je ne deviens vieille, ni je n’augmente ma “sagesse” car je lis des livres en anglais sans jamais chercher les mots que je ne connais pas dans le dictionnaire vu qu’ils n’empêchent pas la compréhension mais rompraient le rythme…et le plaisir de la lecture!
    Dans ma jeunesse, je retenais les mots nouveaux entendus une fois!!!

  6. So if somebody wrote that they were feeling sheepish and lacking confidence because of their balding pate, you would be completely confused? 😉

  7. @ Fazou, that’s because you’re still so young, my friend
    @ Terri, not so sure about my wisdom, as I tend to forget a lot more than i use to 😕
    @ Peggy, not any more, since I’ve blogged about these words! 😆

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