Friday, 17 June 2011

How to say "Otagosh"

Yeah, I know this has been tormenting a lot of readers, how the heck do you say that?  And no, it's definitely not Greek!

Kiwis have a head start here, for everyone knows how to say Otago, the name of a sizeable slab of the South Island. Oh-tar-go. I believe it is an Anglicization of the Maori word "Otakou," the original meaning of which might possibly have been "red earth."

I know what you're thinking; how meaningful, what huge theological potential!  Red earth - Adam, gosh - euphemism for deity... sadly, no such profundity was intended; when I began this blog I was starting out in theological studies through the University of Otago. A colleague commented 'oh gosh!' (doubtless wondering at my slender link to sanity in studying a subject of no practical use.)  Sooo... I bunged the two words together: Otago and gosh. Hence Otagosh (Oh-ta-gosh.)

In that it's an invented word however, it does help out directing folk to exactly the right place when they google it, regardless of pronunciation!

On a tangent, three Otagosh posts made the latest [ad hoc] Christianity podcast list, one of which got a passing mention on the audio ("typical Otagosh"? Obviously I'm getting far too predictable.) The podcast itself is a long one, chewing up the best part of an hour with good-natured banter, but if you're a biblioblog junkie, well hey, so what?


  1. Well, it tormented me! Every time I even thought about the blog I'd wonder how to pronounce it. If I'd just considered that it was based on a Maori word...oh well.

    Thanks for the plug!

  2. I admire your creativity.

    I myself fabricate new words to advance our language to become ever more colorful -- not that it isn't excessively so now.

    My latest (though unnoticed) entry is asnide -- an infusion of making a snide remark as an aside.

    We'll be watching for your future contributions to make our language ever more colorful.

    Gosh, it will be fun, in spite of the euphemisms ["Lord, help us stamp out all those darned euphemisms!"].

  3. Douglas, that's why I've been careful not to pronounce this name in public.

    Those big bad euphemisms.... although to be honest, I hear people around me in UCG using them more and more during fellowship times.

  4. Well now I know. I have been using a short vowel 'O' instead of the long vowel.

    It won't happen again. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  5. "Those big bad euphemisms.... although to be honest, I hear people around me in UCG using them more and more during fellowship times."

    That's unfortunate. I remember being shocked by the American YOU kids, who often found/fabricated creative "euphemisms" themselves. I remember thinking it was as if they had traded one "worldly" crutch for another. This would have been the mid- to late 1980s, in WCG.