Descriptive Words That Don’t Typically Go Together

It’s mind bending and somewhat creative trying to picture these expressions:

~Elmer’s scowl was coldly demented.

~Nina wore a lacy smile.

~Old Beanwhooper sat with one leg ajar and the other removed at a distance.

~Uncle Raemon was the first to let out with a barn melting zinger.

~My boss is always so ultra banjo-man.

Now that I’ve indulged myself, perhaps you can find a way to fit one or two of these into a scene.  Feel free to find your own descriptions that challenge us to peel through our own mental images.

20 responses to “Descriptive Words That Don’t Typically Go Together

  1. oliviascarlett

    As I pass the fish market on my way home from work, it seems like only yesterday…

    Uncle Elmer’s scowl was coldly demented as he leaned over the kitchen sink and fished the insides out of the rainbow trout. His hands covered in blood. My five-year-old eyes mesmerized as each slimy, pigmented scale snapped backwards and into the sink. “We’ll eat fine tonight, Missy,” Uncle said as he chopped off the head and fed it to his Great Dane. “Fetch me the frying pan. There, off of the stove…”

    “Yes, Uncle.” I wore a lacy smile, wondering how I could feign death.

    God, how I still hate fish.

  2. You make it easy to see that scowl and that smile. You’re lucky Elmer didn’t make you clean the fish! It’s an grim task often delegated to naive young observers.

  3. Thanks, Ann. I especially would like to thank you, again, for your beginner’s writer’s course I took a couple of years ago. I’m proud to say I just published my first novel, Reasonable Regret, and it was your class that gave me the self-confidence to realize my dream. So, thank you!

    • Hi Olivia, good for yoou! What is its genre and where is it available? Don’t just toot your own horn, blow the heck outta it! Jeff

      • oliviascarlett

        Alrighty then, it’s a romantic suspense novel, available now on It’s titled Reasonable Regret by me, Olivia, a.k.a. Mary Mack. 🙂

  4. Brava, Olivia! Hope your novel takes off!

  5. Uncle Raemon was the first to let out with a barn melting zinger. It seemed all that was needed was an icebreaker, because after that it was all cats-a-trolley. Whitney slung a scorcher, Marcus flattened a tight clincher, and even little Angelo sent a few barnacles northward! It was Aunt Marcy, however, who really raised the bar. Her powerful antithesis left us jittering in our flip flops.

  6. This was fun to read, so I’m guessing it was fun to write too! I think you may have discovered a new genre!

  7. As long as no one asks for an explanation, because ????

  8. Uncle Dan ran mercifully against the odds that were in his favor, hoping the cloud of sexual remissions which hung over him like a crocheted silk camo-camisole right out of Dante’s Inferno, wouldn’t fester like Gloria’s peach fudge. Gloria watched in absent fervor, her lips pursed tighter than a dime, as Dan eyed the possibilities of life after Gloria Mundi, ever the patriotic virtuoso of impatiens regardless of their social standing among confectioners. Each offered a silent cacophony of resentments, strung like lead fishing weights during Lent, neither above or below each other, harnessed together, one giant thunder-thigh, a formidable but useless pair of ganderlings, not unlike those mentioned by the prophets at a guess-your-weight kiosk at high mass.

  9. Chewy! I had to read it several times to digest the full pleasure of this exercise in full-frontal tangents that piled one stunning image (absent fervor! virtuoso of impatiens! giant thunder thighs!) on another until I had to lie down to recover. Yes, I am having fun here!

  10. calamityjayne94

    Elmer’s scowl was coldly demented as he sat and listened to the police officer explain that his wife had been killed in a car accident. He nodded absently as the officer told him where the ambulance had taken her body, they shook hands, and now Elmer stood alone in the middle of his living room. He was unsure how he was supposed to react. After several moments he made his way to the sofa and turned on the news.

    The reporter was standing on the sidewalk; rain pelting her bright red umbrella. She was describing how the truck had sped through the intersection slamming into driver’s side of the Honda Accord, the victim, whose identity will not be released until the family has been notified, had died at the scene.

    Elmer turned off the TV and stared at the blank screen. His mind raced with the endless possibilities that stood before him. Now he could live his life unhindered by that unbearable shrew. As he contemplated his next move a lacy smile slowly replaced his persistent frown.

    • You’ve made the image of “coldly demented” means something that feels exactly right for this moment. Great scene!

  11. Thank you! I just signed up for your workshop in July. I always hesitate to share what I write. I look forward to the class!

  12. That’s great! I think you’ll find it to be a good experience. Most of the folks who post to this site are ex-students who still enjoy writing and trying new challenges. I’m sure you’ll fit right in!

  13. Elmer’s scowl was coldly demented but Nina wore a lacy smile. Old Beanwhooper sat with one leg ajar and the other removed at a distance. His stump was smoothly sore so a trial separation became his regularly anxious stance. Uncle Raemon was the first to let out with a barn melting zinger “My boss is always so ultra banjo-man.” Boss-man rubbed a hand across penetrating stubble and with a chilling gleam, fired one back “Raemon demon, play your limb for me.”

  14. Sheila,
    That made me laugh, especially since you included some more odd pairings like “smoothly sore” and “penetrating stubble” and “chilling gleam.” Quite the scene!

  15. Play your limb for me LOL!

  16. Thanks Ann and Jeff, The banjo-man was the most difficult so it became the zinger. I was thinking that a good challenge would be for Ann to write 3 short paragraphs and post just the first and third ones and have us make up the missing section. With her flights of fancy this could be a real challenge :))

  17. I’m going to keep that idea in mind. Good one!

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