I went to Trader Joe’s today and grabbed its “Holiday Guide”. The first sentence is like this: “What the heck is Jingle Jangle? It could be a reference to ’70’s-era Rankin-Bass cartoon characters or lyrics to a cowboy ditty referencing spurs.” I have no idea what it is talking about. Also why are there quotes on 70? I thought 70s without the quotes is a sufficient reference. “Stop thinking about grammar.” I told myself but I just couldn’t stop it. When I started learning English, it was all about vocabulary and grammar. Even now, so many years later, whenever I read, I first notice the grammar before I pay attention to the content. It’s a bad habit I just can’t unlearn.
The “Holiday Guide” reminds me that Christmas is a wonderful time for learning new words. There are so many of them that I don’t know where to start, but if I’m forced to make a choice, I will start with jingle and jangle–the sound of the holiday season.
jingle and jangle
jingle: a light ringing sound such as that made by metal objects being shaken together. “the jingle of a bridle”
jangle: make or cause to make a ringing metallic sound, typically a discordant one. “a bell jangled loudly”
tinkle and tintinabulation
tinkle: make or cause to make a light, clear ringing sound. “cool water tinkled in the stone fountains”
tintinabulation: a ringing or tinkling sound.
ditty and paean
ditty: a short, simple song.
paean: a song of praise or triumph.
monody and monotone
monody: an ode sung by a single actor in a Greek tragedy. 2. a poem lamenting a person’s death.
monotone: a continuing sound, especially of a person’s voice, that is unchanging in pitch and without intonation.
rhyme and chime
rhyme: correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry.
chime: a melodious ringing sound, as produced by striking a bell.
twang and twangle
twang: a strong ringing sound such as that made by the plucked string of a musical instrument or a released bowstring.
twangle: to make a twanging sound, esp on a musical instrument.
clamor and clangor
clamor: a loud and confused noise, especially that of people shouting vehemently.
clangor: a resounding clang or medley of clangs the clangor of hammers.
knell and toll
knell: the sound of a bell, especially when rung solemnly for a death or funeral.
toll: (with reference to a bell) sound or cause to sound with a slow, uniform succession of strokes, as a signal or announcement.
dingdong and singsong and clink-clank
dingdong: 1. (informal•North American) a silly or foolish person. 2. with the simple alternate chimes of a bell. “the church bells go ding-dong”
singsong: (of a person’s voice) having a repeated rising and falling rhythm. “the singsong voices of children reciting tables”
clink-clank: a usually repeated noise