Today I am introducing a new weekly feature as an experiment: the Tuesday amusing word. It is inspired by the games I used to play with my siblings, wherein we'd give each other some arbitrary number of points for the use of an amusing sounding word, the rarer the better.
Well, today's word is "upbraid." Without looking at a dictionary, I generally take it to be a near-anachronism that is synonymous with scolding. But look how much more evocative that word is. It brings to mind someone being twisted up into a braid with criticism. Or maybe it involved yanking on braids? Maybe it is sexist, because it is women who mostly have braided hair? But was that true in the past?
And look: it has been dictionary.com's word of the day. I am very pleased that I am not the only person who has been intrigued by this word. If you look at the actual entry, it does appear to have an etymological connection with "braid." But it doesn't appear to have any direct sexist connotations today, at least not from a Google search of that word.
Still, it's a pretty amusing sounding word, no? The combination of the unvoiced and voiced bilabial stops is interesting.