Here’s a word that sounds like it means one thing but it means something very very different: MALEBOLGE.
I can imagine what Malebolge makes you think of. I write erotica, so you can imagine what this word makes me think of: one of the most used words in my stories – along with its less protruding female counterpart.
But I’m doing the MALEBOLGE a great disservice because MALEBOLGE is not just any male bulge. It is Dante’s malebolge, so to speak. He’d probably send me to one of the circles of the Inferno if he knew I was even thinking of his male bulge. Most likely, I would end up in the Circle of Lust where Cleopatra is queen because she made a deal with the devil. Is that what you think, Dante? That smart and beautiful women make deals with the devil? (If I ever meet Dante in the street, I will ask him that.)
But speaking of Dante’s Inferno, MALEBOLGE is an Italian word (or two words, really) that means ‘evil pit’. And, Dante named the eighth circle in his Inferno the MALEBOLGE because it contains ten bolges. Bolges that are, by the way, full of bulges. The people who end up there are thieves, hypocrites, people who cause scandals, astrologers, imposters, liars, and the like. Um…it sounds like the people who run the world. I wonder where braggers go.