Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Troglodyte – Wordplay Wednesday™ 04/06/2022

Caving In ... Going Back ... Way Back in Time ...

I once worked with a woman who wished she could live in a cave. Seriously. Better yet, underground. Like a mole. We didn’t get along very well ... imagine that. But I do hope she accomplished her dream home. After the past couple of years, I fancy many of us felt like we were doing just that, living like a ...

TROGLODYTE (ʹträ-glɘ-,dīt; 1555) n. ~ 1) a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves; 2) a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded reactionary attitudes – adj./troglodytic. [WW-M #316]

This is the first Wordplay Wednesday in which the featured word is the same as the tune title for our *Monthly Song of Note ¯. Coming hot off the Top Thirty at #6 on the radio music chart for KAFY/Bakersfield, California, April 18, 1972, "Troglodyte" shares the honor with our big bro site, * It would be even more fun if the song’s premise wasn’t so, well, neanderthal!   

Troglodyte's lyrics are as simple, stupid and silly as the title and word definition suggest. Not to mention, politically incorrect by today’s standards, if used to describe a person.  

Did I ... do I ... find the word and song offensive? Nah. Not really. Back in the day, we weren’t so consciously aware and we just considered the source (my attitude still today)—an inane novelty record. 

When the word troglodyte strolled into the dictionary around 1555, it was likely never intended for crass or derogatory use. My apologies to those who find it insulting, but in addition to anthropological studies, it’s Rock & Roll history, and though we’re coming close to it, we haven’t ... yet ... begun totally erasing the past we don't agree with.  

The 1960s and ‘70s were musically macho-man decades, so we kicked the song up to #1 in some areas of North America. Enough to award it a gold certification from RIAA. Besides a Cave Man, the novelty funk song referenced another troglodyte character, in “Bertha Butt,” who the band debuted in her own song, "Bertha Butt Boogie" in 1975--along with her three sisters, Betty, Bella, and Bathsheba. I’m not even gonna go there ... okay, well, I did, but it was for your information. 😅 By pure classification of “novelty” tunes, they weren't meant to be taken seriously.

So, to set the record straight for this day and age, troglodyte is an apt word in a novel or nonfiction work depicting reclusive or intolerant people of the current century, or referencing a mode of living and peoples from archaic human life.

Word Challenge: TROGLODYTE. Apply this word with care in a multitude of scenarios, as you fit troglodyte into an expressive month of novelty writings and casual conversations.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

Cheers to learning a new word today! 


Wordplay Wednesday is currently created for your literary pleasure every first Wednesday of each month. Thank you for stopping by! Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t harmful to your health! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments.

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

LR Notes: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary – Eleventh Edition, unless otherwise noted. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) a] Recent dictionary additions to definitions include a date of first use, if known; b] words in small caps indicate “see also.” 3) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.

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