Vaughan’s Vocabulary

Don Vaughan provides infrequently used words to strengthen your vocabulary

A song I played quite often on my radio show was “Ah Leah” by Donnie Iris. I recently did a search for that 1981 hit and came upon a live version (typically I’m biased against live versions because in my opinion they do not sound nearly as good as the studio version, especially after hearing the studio version for years). This is not the case with “Ah Leah.” The 4:39 LV has a faster tempo, beautiful harmony, and panache!

Various live versions of Ah Leah are online, but the one I would like for you to play is the 4:39 version and can be found by googling “Ah Leah- Donnie Iris.”

A fan of the song writes, “My mother named me Leah after this song. She said she was at the car wash when the song came on. She knew immediately this was going to be the name of her daughter if she were to have one. Needless to say, she popped me out. I’m very glad and proud to be named after a Donnie Iris song!” Her mom could have let Leah be her middle name and “Ah” her first.

1. “Ah” is

A. an interjection.

B. a euphemism.

C. an ampersand.

D. an adjective.

Ah is an interjection, but what is that? Let’s find out.

2. interjection (in-ter-JECK-shun)

A. the utterance of a word or phrase to express emotion

B. a vocal pause

C. an objection

D. an insinuation of love

3. The name Leah means

A. gazelle.

B. iris.

C. love.

D. beautiful eyes.

E. beautiful hair.

Let’s see how you did with No. 2 and No. 3. Dictionary.com defines interjection, “the utterance of a word or phrase expressive of emotion; the uttering of an exclamation.” No. 2 is A. As for No. 3, Harper’s Bible Dictionary pointed out that the name Leah means “gazelle or wild cow.”

4. Which word is not in the song Ah Leah?

A. lesson

B. disaster

C. learned

D. mischievous

5. Which word best describes the woman in Iris’s song?

A. sybaritic

B. traditionalist

C. cross dresser

D. ascetic

As for No. 4, although Leah may be mischievous, that adjective is not in the song. No.

5 is sybaritic. Merriam-Webster defines sybaritic “given to or marked by excessive gratification of one’s desires.” This adjective came from the infamous luxury of the people of Sybaris.

Last week’s mystery word is almost.

This week’s mystery word to solve is one you can use to call someone who loves cats.

Don R. Vaughan, Ph.D., of Eupora is a speech and theater professor at East Mississippi Community College, Golden Triangle. Contact him at dvaughan@eastms.edu.