Chortle is a word that has passed into our lexicon and known to exist because it has been around about one hundred and fifty years. But where did it come from?
The simple answer is it was a made-up word by Lewis Carroll (Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodson) in Alice in Wonderland, but somehow made it into common use. The popularity of Alice in Wonderland obviously helped it pass from a head scratcher to common usage. It was the mock turtle (a turtle with the head of a calf) that was full of words with double meanings based on spellings. “We called him tortoise because he taught us” (tortoise=taught us). “No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise” (porpoise=purpose). This ambiguity of word use can also be known as a double entendre.
Today we use chortle as a verb that means to laugh or chuckle when you are amused, almost an understated laugh. It can also be a noun when used to describe a thing. “He smiled, then laughed, and finally his amusement became a chortle.”
There we have it, from Wonderland and the Mock Turtle to common usage. The word sounds so close to chuckle that people know what you are describing even if they do not know the word.
Mansplaining is the latest in a list of woke terms used to demean men publicly who even dare to explain or correct a woman. It is so stupid that even the use has become a joke and the topic of thousands of YouTube videos from around the world. The term is used by those seeking to make political points with far-left voters and nothing else.
One of my favorites is an exchange between two Australian politicians that made the rounds on YouTube. Senator Katy Gallagher castigated Senator Mitch Fifield for explaining himself on an issue. The best she could do was say “It is a word that is used.” It ended with the retort “Hypocrisy thy name is Senator Gallagher.”
Since I am a man, I guess I just mansplained mansplaining. The sooner this nonsensical, political term passes from our world the better.