Waste not, want more

No variations on a theme.

Words (and other things resembling words) that warm my cockles: #6

(As a lover of words, phrases, lyrics, plays on words and so on, and someone seeking ways to better celebrate the little things, I’ve decided to develop a series dedicated especially to these linguistic trinkets.)


This word kills me, but in a good way. In large part because it’s the only word I can think of (outside of crazy technical words, etc) that absolutely baffles me. If someone says anemone, I get it, mostly. But if I have to say the word anemone, like in conversation, I don’t know how. I cannot for the life of me decide between anemone and aneNoMe. To write this blog, I had to google it. I get confused because anemone sounds to me like what I would say if I had a speech impediment, like if I were to say, “He’s an em-e-ny of mine.” Get it? No? It’s just me then. Ok. I know it’s not weird to have a word I screw up all the time, but I’ve always been an accurate pronouncer. My mom tells stories about how correct my speech was from babyhood. (Maybe one day I’ll be blessed with a one-year-old know-it-all. Joy.) So I get all kerfuddled. Which gives me much respect for the anemone. You are simple and beautiful and yet I cannot say your name.

Anenomes (ack, oops) Anemones came to mind for a good reason. The long-suffering semester will be over tomorrow (sort of) and I am heading camping to Salt Spring Island with friends. I can’t wait. Last year we all went there together as well. The beach was covered in creatures to visit – I’m famous for loving my inter-tidal life – and I found camping on the ocean very soothing somehow.

Creeping on sea stars

But I was taught a bad, bad thing. I try to be very cautious and respectful around life, you know the kind, plants, animals, life. I can’t stand spiders but still hate it when someone sees me flailing near a spider and feels the need to heroically kill it for me. Anyway, being unfamiliar with the ocean, I’m generally especially hands-off with ocean creatures. But while camping, my friend and island local taught me that if you stick a finger in a green burrowing anemone, it will close up around you and sort of sting you/suck your finger. With childish guilt, I did my worst and, to my dismay, it was fun (I don’t get out much). Now whenever I see one it is very difficult to keep my fingers to myself. However, on the radio yesterday, my guilt was confirmed, a biologist was talking about the damage that human oils (from touching) can do to sea beings, beings like the green burrowing anemone.

Pretty, no? Click for photo credit.

I also have a good friend that used to love the anemone flower, which is graceful and sweet and comes in tons of colours. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own picture of the flower either.


Anyway, the point is, anemones are neat-o and I don’t know how to say the word most of the time. To Salt Spring!


My own anemone photo as evidence of great success in enjoying Salt Spring Island.

Not quite as much colour steroid but you get the idea


August 12, 2010 - Posted by | Words that warm | ,


  1. Have fun. Maybe just poke a local in the eye instead. It might act as methadone to your addiction. We just got back from a couple of days at Martha’s.

    Comment by CheyenneVyvyan | August 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. […] I find this interesting all the same. At some point, google and my blog post on the word “anemone” became very close friends. While that post was fun for me and all, it’s not really […]

    Pingback by Anemones are my Shiny Happy People « Waste not, want more | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  3. I think anemones are gorgeous–and, yes, what a weird word! (Love the title of this post, by the way!)

    Comment by Kathryn McCullough | September 22, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks! There’s an entire series dedicated to words that warm, but I was boring myself.

      Comment by Rose | September 22, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] written about this before. My post, Words (and other things resembling words) that warm my cockles: #6, about anemones – really the word anemone – is far and away my most popular. This kills […]

    Pingback by 7 Ways to Leave Your Lover Wondering What You’ve Been Doing with Your Time « Waste not, want more | January 5, 2012 | Reply

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