New Favorite Word – Okra

Okra – a tall annual; herb (Ablemoschus esculentus) of the mallow family that is cultivated for its mucilaginous green pods used especially in soups or stews. [Note: the ultimate use of okra involves cornmeal, bacon grease, salt, and a cast iron skillet.]

While perusing the Internet and daydreaming about an upcoming trip to see my dad, I came across a dubious “Southern Slang Dictionary” on littlerock.about.com, which promises to help “avoid confusion if you are planning to visit the South.” The author, a Little Rock, Arkansas expert, included okra on this list. Really? Well, Little Rock “expert,” that dog won’t hunt.* Okra isn’t slang for anything other than deliciousness. Of African origin and first known use in 1679, okra occupies a well-earned spot in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary,the Oxford English Dictionary and the venerable, Wikipedia.

Ok, now I’m daydreaming (and salivating) about fried okra. Only two weeks till my trip to Ar-kan-saw.

*The “Southern Slang Dictionary,” defines that dog won’t hunt as a Southern colloquialism meaning an idea or argument that won’t work. Bam!

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