People who know me as a writer have noticed that I have this annoying habit of making up my own words. What amuses me, however, isn't the fact that I certainly do make up my own words, but rather the fact that I sometimes use real words that people accuse me of making up.
If you think that I'm just being some random oik about this, then you can find some other poor sot's blog to read. Feh.
I think I picked up "oik" from Terry Pratchett, probably from one of his Rincewind novels. Pratchett used it to describe a person you wouldn't lend money to, and I can only find a single online reference for it, which describes "oik" as "(British slang): a disparaging term for someone regarded as inferior".
I don't know why I use "oik", really. Maybe it just rolls off the tongue so well. Maybe the nature of the word is such that you immediately know that it's a somewhat derogatory term. Maybe the word just sounds so funny that you can't help but laugh despite the fact that it's technically an insult.
"Sot", on the other hand, I learned from Scrabble. I've lost more than a few viable slots on the board to "sot", which would eventually turn up in the dictionary to stymie my challenges. It apparently refers to an alcoholic or a drunkard, although I'm not sure if it's insulting or not. "Sot" doesn't roll off the tongue as well as "oik" does, mind you, but the beauty of the word shows when you combine it with an adjective. I like using "arrogant sot" for some reason, and I tend to lapse into the phrase "some poor sot" when I'm not paying attention.
Now "feh" - that's a more derogatory turn of phrase. I think that it's technically onomatopoeia - a word that's spoken like the sound effect it describes - because it's an exclamation that denotes an idea or concept that one thinks is beneath his or her standards. "Feh" sounds pretty much like the contemptuous release of spittle onto the nearest curb. Not that I specifically use "feh" to insult anyone, mind you - I'm more likely to say it as an expression of disgust, usually at my own ineptitude.
No, you probably won't find "feh" in your standard dictionary. Does this mean that I've lied and completely made up a word again? Well, no - "feh" can be defined in Scrabble as "a jewish coin", and although that doesn't describe the way I use it, it's good enough for me. "Feh" is still a legitimate word. :)
Odd, though, that the three three-letter words that came to mind here are all derogatory turns of phrase in one way or another. At least now I can see why people refer to the unmentionable realms of literal profanity as "four-letter words".
It's remarkably minimalist, in a way. It just goes to show you that you don't need as many as four letters to show someone or something exactly how you feel.