Don't you just love the vagaries of the English language?
I mean, I have often been disgruntled (don't get me started!) but why, oh why, can't I be gruntled?
Having recovered from being discombobulated, shouldn't I now be combobulated?
Musing on this, during a car journey back from northernmost Northumberland, I decided to investigate just what has happened to the missing opposites of words we use every day, so here goes:
Disgruntled comes from the middle English 'gruntelen' which meant 'to grumble' and apparently, since 1926 (according to Merriam-Webster), I can be as gruntled as I like because it was in that year that the first use of this antonym was recorded. Success there then! As it means 'to put in a good humour', consider me well and truly gruntled.
Discombobulated. Back to good old Merriam-Webster (I'm getting to like them), who inform me that it probably derives from 'to discompose' and was first used in 1916. "But what about combobulated?" I hear you cry. Well, Merriam-Webster let me down here, but I am informed that it IS a word - an urban slang word - and can be used thus:
"Yo dogg, Mr. Dan really combobulates calculus! Fo shizzle D!"
Um, yes, well. Translations on a postcard please and apologies if I have just sworn at you. Don't think I'll be rushing to be combobulated. Might find I've bitten off more than I can chew.
In other words, it means pretty much the same as 'overwhelmed'. Uh?
Over to you, what are your favourite words that lack an obvious antonym?