More English Words I Learned in 2011

Read part 1 to learn English verbs and to know how I tricked Andrew into being my friend. Now adjectives and nouns (definitions are in red; Andrew made the pictures).


Impudent or irreverent, typically in an amusing way.

Andrew told me his secret to score points with Swiss girls:
“I ask them: ‘Bist du behindert?’ It means ‘are you retarded?’ In German.”
I shook my head in disapproval. I probably even did a face palm.
“I can get away with it because I am cheeky, not mean,” he explained.


Playful and full of energy (often in a sexual way).

One day, I wanted to introduce Andrew to one of my single students. I sent him a text suggesting we all meet in a bar in Oerlikon. He replied: “Yes, the place is perfect because it’s very close to my flat, in case you or your friend gets frisky. Or ideally both of you.”


Easily persuaded to believe something; credulous.

It didn’t work out between my student and Andrew. So I introduced him to another single lady. We went to a bar and we started talking about tattoos. He said: “I only have one tattoo. It’s on my back. It’s a vampire girl taking a shower. She’s crying. Oh, and she’s a lesbian. How do you know she’s lesbian? Because there’s another vampire girl in the shower with her. It takes up most of my back, actually.”

I believed his story. The following week, he told me: “I use you and the tattoo story as an example to explain the word gullible to my students!”


Bad-tempered, argumentative, and uncooperative.

Andrew is writing a children’s book at the moment. He sends me new chapters every once in a while for feedback. Not only is the story amazing, but I also learned a few new words reading it. For example, here:

The tree liked Summergold, and Summergold loved the tree. She loved everything natural and good, and the tree was both, though sometimes cantankerous.

After looking up the word, I understood that the tree was a metaphor for Andrew’s personality. How deep!

Mean adjectives to describe me

Andrew outrageously and repeatedly uses evil adjectives to describe my (poor) self or my behaviour:


Lively, spirited and self-reliant

As in: “All French women I’ve met are feisty.”

Isn’t that a COMPLIMENT?!


So foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing.

Andrew: “What you say is ludicrous.”
Me: “What does ludicrous mean?”
Andrew: “You must know the word, it’s French, isn’t it?”
Me: “No it’s not.”
Andrew: “Yes it is! Something like ludicweuh, ludicwoah?”
Me: “No, those words are not French. The closest French word I can think of is lucratif which means lucrative, is it related?”
Andrew: “No, ludicrous is a synonym for ridiculous.”
Me: “Androo, are you making this word up to make fun of me?”
Andrew: “No! I promise it’s a real word! It’s absolutely ludicrous of you not to believe me!”


Childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Nick: “Why isnt there any story for petulant?”
Me: “I can’t think of any”
Nick: “I can think of a thousand!”


Showing disapproval or contempt towards others.

Me: “I don’t understand why this girl doesn’t like me. I am a nice person!”
Andrew: “It’s probably impossible because you’re French but… have you tried being less snooty?”


Having or showing an excessive pride in oneself or one’s achievements.

Me talking to Andrew’s friend: “I met my fiancé on the internet only 2 days after I signed up on an online dating website. A year and a half later, he proposed to me.” (Normal smile of happiness).

Andrew: (shaking his head, to his friend) “Look at this smug smile! It’s scandalous how smug she is!” (Ludicrous imitation of my accent and voice): “I met Neek, 2 days later, e was mine, 2 montz later, we were married. Now I ham insufferably zmug.”


Happy and cheerful.

Me: “I’ll call you in the morning to check how the date I got you on the internet went.”
Andrew: “NO! You’ll be all jolly and annoying. I can’t stand people in a good mood that early. Wait till lunch.”

Another compliment?


A person of unconventional appearance, typically having long hair and wearing beads, associated with a subculture involving a rejection of conventional values and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs. (I don’t take drugs!)

See Andrew’s blog: Making fun of Cecile (part 17 in an infinite series)


(informaloffensive) an incompetent or uncoordinated person.

As in: “You spastic!”.



(Of a person) Lazy and disinclined to work: most of them are idle, work-shy, good-for-nothing

Insulting me wasn’t enough for Andrew. He also found a way to bitch at my innocent 13 year old little sister Léa. She had drawn a comic for him. He liked the result, so he commissioned her to do another one. She did it, and it was okay, but needed some changes. I translated Andrew’s demands to Léa. She didn’t feel like working on it anymore. When I told Andrew she wouldn’t change anything, he said: “your little sister is certainly well-prepared for life in the French economy. She’s work-shy like all you French people.” Since then, he regularly complains about Léa and this comic she refused to change for him.


A cowardly person.

Recently, I started lacking inspiration to write on my blog. I even considered stopping blogging. When I told Andrew about it, he said: “If you stop writing, I’ll make your life hell. You’ll be a quitter, just like your work-shy little sister. I’ll remind you how craven you are every day.”


Sometimes Andrew pisses me off. But then I remember that there are many words left to learn (English language has over a million words). Hopefully, I’ll be able to use some of the words he teaches me to insult him.


You might also like:

English words I don’t dare to say

The Joke Experiment

11 thoughts on “More English Words I Learned in 2011

  1. Nothing more fun than watching a ‘foreigner’ learning your native tongue. Or perhaps, a ‘foreigner’ learning some of the multitude of French sayings and expressions is just as much fun. Merci beaucoup.

      • Hi Cécile; Perhaps you thought I was being facetious by using the expression “tickled pink,” meaning ‘proud of,’ like in “I was very proud of you having won the award nominations.” The intent was to share an obscure English expression with you; perhaps it wasn’t amusing. I’m sorry if you were offended.

  2. Love this post. As the jolly snooty french girl I am, I appreciate a lot these vocabulary classes, I would so much love to be fluent like you are Cécile !

    I also took a look at Andrew’s blog. It was like reading Chandler Bing’s diary: damn funny :)
    Keep in RSS :)

    • Thanks Pauliakov, you have all my respect for 2 reasons: you’re French and you commented on my blog :). Je pense que ton commentaire fera plais. à Andrew aussi même s’il ne l’admettra sûrement jamais!

  3. Ochiba here. I have changed my name to represent my new status.

    Great post. I love your blog and think your banter with Andrew adds a great dimension to both your blogs.

      • Cécile: why do you misinterpret everything? To annoy me?
        Ochiba is my fan, and happens to like your blog as well.

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