Meaning: flirtatious talk that leads nowhere
Etymology: From the Ancient Greek σφάλλω (sphállō, “to stumble”) and λαλιά (laliá, “talking”).
Usage in a sentence: “Her talks were complete sphallolalia, but I’d never been spoken to like that before. And I liked it.”
You would have probably figured out by now that ‘1710’ in my blog address and Twitter ID stands for my birthday. This puts me into the zodiac sign Libra. So when anyone asks me why I get so flirty at times, I blame it on my star sign.
The word “sphallolalia” doesn’t really mean flirty behaviour. It indicates a type of flirting, in which flirty talks are conducted but not needed. The flirty talks that will lead to nothing in the future. The type of conversations you have with cute random strangers. You know you are never going to meet this person again, so what’s the harm in talking in a lovey-dovey way with them?
Some examples of sphallolalia are:
- A student flirting with a teacher. And vice versa. (“Psst. It’s not always sphallolalia in these cases. It could hint towards serious commitment, in certain types of people.”~Fab)
- An elderly lady calling the cashier at the shopping mall ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie pie’. (“This completely grosses me out. Eeww. Kill me before I start doing this.” ~Fab)
- This type of conversation:
“No, no, you first!”
“Oh that’s so sweet, but really you should go in first!”
“No, please do so.”
“Okay, let’s both go in together.”
These conversations that take place near entrances to rooms or buildings. Typically, this conversation is held by two people- a boy who is totally chivalrous, and a girl who has no idea that the guy is just being chivalrous, not flirty, and hence she tries to be super-flirty with him. (“The best part is the way the girl blushes after entering the room/building. And the guy is just staring into the air, totally clueless about the flutter he caused in that girl’s brain”~Fab)
- Ever wanted to get into a theatre to catch an adult movie? Or have you wanted to try a ride at a theme park, but unfortunately didn’t fulfill the height/weight/age criterion? You may have employed harmless flirting at that time. You now know what to call it. (“We should try this once, don’t you think so?”~ Fab)
That’s my list for most seen cases of sphallolalia in my vicinity. Do add to the list, if there’s something I’ve missed 🙂
Information sourced at Wiktionary.