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Discover this week’s WOW

Posted in: Blog, Words, WOW by Sally Evans-Darby on 25 April 2012

Word of the Week

This week’s WOW is grisly (adj.): causing horror or disgust.

I wanted to mention this word because it’s easy to confuse with grizzly, which in fact has nothing to do with things we don’t want to hear (it’s never ‘spare me the grizzly details’). Grizzly is in fact a word all of its own simply referring to something being greyish in colour, and is most often used when referring to the North American Grizzly Bear.

While grizzly has its roots in the Old French ‘gris’, meaning literally ‘grey’, grisly is from the Late Old English ‘grislic’, meaning horrible; which is related to the root ‘grisan’, meaning to shudder. Then of course there’s also gristly, referring to that chewy bit of cartilage you sometimes get in meat.

Grisly is a great word to use to describe something truly awful… ‘the grisly Grizzly Bear, its fur mottled and grizzly, chewed on a piece of gristle: what a grisly sight…’