SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: Glower (or, the 5th Street Paving Rumba).


Welcome to another installment of SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why new words? Why not the old, familiar, comforting words?

It’s because a healthy vocabulary isn’t about trying to show the plebeians that you’re brighter than them.

To the contrary, it’s about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one’s pay grade or station in life.

Even municipal corporate attorneys are eligible for this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, for those of us who want nothing more than to grasp the need for a dog park in a non-walkable area atop a Native American ceremonial site, all we have is time — and the opportunity to learn something.

On Monday night at the city council meeting, I inadvertently stumbled across the magic, prize-winning words, mouthed sotto voce in the background, but with sufficient emphasis to merit a torso-twisting … that’s right, glower. The namesake of this weekly column glowered at me, and as such, I was gifted with a glower.

It was glowerful — which is NOT a real word.


glow·er (glou′ər)

intr.v. glow·ered, glow·er·ing, glow·ers
To look or stare angrily or sullenly: glowered at the rude patron. See Synonyms at frown.
n. An angry or sullen look or stare.

[Middle English gloren, probably of Scandinavian origin; see ghel- in Indo-European roots.]

glow′er·ing·ly adv.

Finally, a bit more on the northern origins of glower.

[C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; related to Middle Low German glūren to watch]

[1350–1400; Middle English (Scots) glowren to glower; akin to Middle Low German glūren to be overcast, Middle Dutch gloeren to leer]