Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Word: Gelignite

gelignite |ˈjeligˌnīt|nouna high explosive made from a gel of nitroglycerine and nitrocellulose in a base of wood pulp and sodium orpotassium nitrate, used particularly for rock blasting.ORIGIN late 19th cent.: probably from gelatin +Latin (l)ignis wood’ -ite 1.

Such beautiful word for something that isn't. I learned it thanks to the TV show Weeds and was reminded of it recently as I was listening to the soundtrack. The song Bullets by British band Tunng uses it.

"Green hills and enemies
These things they make us sentimental inside
Your words are gelignite
Or just another sentimental aside

We're catching bullets in our teeth
And though it's easy when you know how it's done
They split the secret up six ways before they gave it to us just before dawn
And now we don't remember"

(See the rest of the lyrics here.) It's lyrical song about death, murder, and the Mexican drug trade.


  1. Definitely not one I've ever heard of before.

    1. Not something that comes up in everyday conversation, unless you're a demolition expert.