Word of the day: dirigible

Dirigible (noun): An airship.

Dirigible (adjective): Capable of being steered or guided.

Does this mean that an airship capable of being steered or guided is a dirigible dirigible?

Upon posing this question to the office, the web guy sitting opposite me asked whether a desert rodent capable of being guided was a 'dirigerbil'...

A risible dirigible dirigible

4 comments:

Roy said...

I guess the desert rodent would only be a dirigerbil if it was inflatable.

Andrew Orange said...

Clearly dirigibles are de rigeur today.

But are you confident on its pronunciation? I'm not. My Australian friend places the stress on the second syllable; I place it on the first, or possibly none. Or is it the other way round? Don't know. Hence I only ever write it these days.

My dictionary says either is acceptable, by the way.

mighty red pen said...

"Dirigerbil" had me laughing. It's the kind of fabuterrible wordplay they used to have on the Muppet Show that would go right over a kid's head but would have parents snickering.

JD said...

Andrew, I believe I place the stress on the second syllable - although I am rarely called to use the word in conversation!

I find initial-syllable stress on words of four syllables or more a bit of a tongue-twister: 'necessarily' being a good example.