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11/4/04 5:29 PM
Copyright 2004 David C. Loebig

Random Digressions

Gortch: Now Get the Word Out

I need help getting the word out, literally. And the word is “gortch.”

You know how sometimes in the middle of conversations, stupid things come up. That happens to you, right? If it doesn’t, you’re not trying hard enough. You could learn a thing or two by watching Jerry Springer.

So a stupid thing came up recently and it involves a brand new word: “gortch”

It’s a regional word from Mike and Tammy’s patio. In fact, it’s specifically localized to the back right of their patio. Linguists have a term for this: “ludicrously local.”

So there we were, a group of strangers dressed in costumes blathering on late one night. The topic of regional accents came up, and that led to the regional word “pop,” as in soda, Coke, Pepsi and other carbonated sugar water.

That's when it struck me: we should make up our own word. Everybody seemed to like the idea, including, I’m glad to say, the guy dressed as the grim reaper. You never want to get on his bad side.

So they asked: what’s the new word? The Grim Reaper guy, the Pizza Hut worker, the Fairy Lady and the no-costume guy (Or was he a bowler?) all looked to me for an answer. I was dressed as a priest, so maybe I was the authority figure, and it was my idea, so the burden fell to me.

I wasn’t prepared. I had blurted out the idea without thinking it through. I was on the spot, and my mind was drawing a blank.

Suddenly, “gortch, g-o-r-t-c-h.” There it was. I said it out loud.

There was a murmur of consideration among the group followed by quiet acceptance, and my word passed the informal vote. By consensus the new word would be “gortch.”

The conversation flurried again over the next question, what does it mean?

The Fairy Lady came through in a snap: “hot and hungry at the same time.”

Well, that was easy. We had just made up a new adjective.

Here’s an example usage from my own life: “I, a big, beefy he-man, have been breaking rock in the blazing sun of the quarry all day. I’m feeling gortch.”

The conversation turned feisty over the next question: Should the word have an “-ed” ending? As in “I’m gortched.”

I began to explain that for the “-ed” ending, the new word would have to be a verb, and “gortched” would be the past participle of the verb “to gortch,” and the participial “gortched” could be used as a predicate adjective with an intransitive verb...and suddenly I had vivid flashbacks of advanced grammar, tedious rules, arcane exceptions, dreary tests and Mrs. Vaughn (the world’s greatest teacher ever, by the way), and I began to shudder and broke into a cold sweat. I had to sit down.

Anyway, we concluded the new word would be an adjective. Since it’s correct to say, “I’m hot,” and “I’m hungry,” it’s correct to say “I’m gortch.”

I know it sounds like it needs the “-ed” ending, but beer was involved, and we weren’t inclined to work out all the kinks.

So get out there and start using the new word “gortch.” I promise it will get you some funny looks, especially if you use it in sworn testimony to Congress.

If nothing else, it will give you an air of “arffle,” which is another word I just made up. I don’t have a definition for it yet, but I will as soon as I have another meeting with the Fairy Lady.

Dave Loebig writes and banters out of the Tampa, Fla. area. You can banter with him at



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