Top 5 Weirdest Words I Have Actually Written on My Blackboard

Ah, the blackboard. The staple of every classroom. Now that it’s midterms week and I don’t have a lesson update, I’d like to share some of the weirdest things my students have asked me to write on the board. To give some context, usually I use the board to write instructions, show grammatical structures, or help students with spelling. The pictures below fall into the last category.

Let the countdown begin.

5) Diplomat

For this one, it’s not the word itself that is strange, but the terrible drawing that accompanies it.

For the “Humans of Gimhae” future plans lesson, one of my students asked for the word for someone who helps countries become friends.

“Ah! I know this one!” I said. I wrote “diplomat” on the board, but my student only looked more puzzled. I drew the following picture, which somehow made sense to her because she nodded enthusiastically and wrote it in her paragraph.

diplomatSo diplomats have ridiculously long necks, Alaska has somehow attached itself to the contiguous United States, and Korea looks vaguely like a paramecium. Moving away from my mad art skillz…

4) Forensic Detective

Hands down, the most complicated career question my students asked me during the “Humans of Gimhae” lesson. As I was writing professions and fields of study on the board, one of my girls asked, “What is science police?”

“Science police? Like a doctor or like a detective?”

“Like CSI or NCIS!”

Which led to the following addition to the list:

forensic detective

3) Sheikh Mansour

Yes, I had to look this one up.

During a lesson on role models, one of my boys asked, “Teacher, spelling…Mon Sur?”

“Monsieur? French?”

“No, Mon Sur! Very rich! Oil!”

This was a job for Google. After attempting several spellings along with entries like rich, oil, Saudi Arabia and UAE, I finally found the man’s picture and the correct spelling of his name. Apparently my student admires rich Arab sheikhs.

Mansour

2) Gourmand

“What is word for someone who loves to eat?” one of my boys asked, looking up from his paper. “I want to write that I am the person who loves to eat the most.”

“Oh, that’s perfect! You can write it just like that!” I said encouragingly.

“No – I want a better word!”

And so came the awkward moment when the native English teacher could only think of a French word:

Gourmand

1) This last one requires an explanation first.

For my “Create Your Own Country” lesson, one group of girls huddled together and giggled as they were discussing their dream country. Finally, one of them raised her hand and asked, “Teacher, what is word for one woman with many men?”

I was stumped for a minute and slightly nervous about what she might be asking. I sincerely hoped she wasn’t asking for anything derogatory, so I asked her to repeat her question.

“One woman with many men? Marriage?”

“Ah!” I said in relief. “THAT I can teach you!” So I proceeded to write this on the board:

PolygamyAlso note that the woman has no neck and the men look like giraffes.

Teachers – what’s the weirdest word you’ve written on your blackboard?

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