Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Word Nerd Monday: Ruggedized

Last week, while reading through a Request for Applications for grant funds put forth by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, I came across something completely unexpected. In a section describing what grant funds could be spent on, there was a line that read “…such as tablets that have been ruggedized.”



I understood immediately what the word meant. Tablet devices are often used in the field by technicians to capture important data, but tablets are fragile things. A tablet with a hard plastic or rubber case, and maybe some kind of screen protector, would be able to withstand the rigors of the field. It would be able to get wet. And dropped. And bumped. In short, it would have been made to be rugged. Or, as they said, ruggedized.

But really, ruggedized? Not all that long ago, I think they would have described it as ‘armored.’

The word made me laugh, because it sounded like the kind of word my friends would make up back when we were in high school. Ruggedized. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, the first known usage goes back to 1947, so it is a relatively new word, but a valid one. It just struck me as an odd thing to see in a grant application. Which is funny, because if I had seen the word rubberized, I would not have blinked.

On a side note, when we talked about it at home later, The Magpie suggested that Viggo Mortensen had gotten ruggedized to play Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings.

Yeah, I think she’s right.

That’s all for me for today. What about you? What are some of your favorite, odd words?

NOTE: Image is totally borrowed from Pinterest. I have no idea how Pinterest works, how to attribute to a creator, or even who the creator is. If it’s yours, I will happily give you credit. Or take it down, if that’s what you want. Just let me know.

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