It’s Even Changing the Way I Speak

I knew I was changing, but it was obvious when I said the “word” phwoar. I didn’t even know it was a word until a couple of years ago. The first time I said it, someone in the family made a point to turn his head towards me and stare at me as if to say, “Do I know you?” To which I mentally replied, “Yeah, you know me, but maybe I don’t know myself anymore.”

What all of you don’t know is that I don’t use much onomatopoeia when I speak much less when I write (does anyone except comic book writers?), and certainly don’t use it to describe something that is extremely appealing. But maybe I ought to because it felt good to say phwoar, which is properly said PHWOAR!

A few years ago I took a self-defense class for women. If you have never taken something like that, I highly recommend it. I was prompted by a friend to do it and went only because of the prodding. I figured the instructors would just remind me of things I already knew but probably needed to hear again. Wrong. It was taught by a husband and wife who had been military and were now police. Both had black belts in some martial art, and when they told us that, I thought, “Oh yeah, great. Like you two are living in the real word where people like me can’t do squat.” But again, I was wrong. They taught me a technique of imagining myself in a bad situation and then mentally using the practical things they had taught. Part of this was to practice yelling STOP! They said studies had shown that women had a hard time raising their voices to strangers even someone who scares or surprises them. It’s part of our genteel gene I guess. Aren’t we special? Thankfully they stayed on us about yelling STOP! Half of one class was spent just doing that. Man, that was some easy money for them. Well, I haven’t been attacked, but I have been threatened, and when the time came I was able to yell STOP! and the very suspicious person fled.

That day I yelled STOP! and really needed to was a kind of epiphany that forever altered my world. It gave me power I really wasn’t sure I possessed until the moment of crisis. Saying PHWOAR! had the same effect on me. It was the passionate me, my inner PHWOAR, which I had buried for so long, rushing to the surface. My SO, who was the only one around at the time and the object of my PHWOAR!, said, “What was that? I like it.”

I hope you can do a little PHWOAR! today. At least get in touch with your inner PHWOAR! See how good I am to all of you; continuing to be of public service. ;)

Of course that’s far from the only word I’ve learned and now love. I’ve started a list, RA Lexicon, and you can add your own. Enjoy!

Oh, oh, oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot to put up the image that made me PHWOAR! (at least in my head) the first time. Actually I was watching the scene it’s in, and thought PHWOAR! when he turned around.

Screencap courtesy of


  1. I love this post! I’m writing a post now that takes up something you mentioned. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. That is a serious PHWOAR image. Wow. Luckily my office door was closed when I saw it so no one could hear the very loud PHWOAR.

  3. I should also say, I can tell you exactly where it comes from because I have watched that sequence frame by frame at least a dozen times. PHWOAR!

  4. I have definitely been known to squee, but Phwoar is rather new to me. I think I need to actually hear it first. I will see if there is a dictionary definition with a sound clip…

  5. […] strikes when one least expects it. I was compelled to put fingertips to keyboard after reading this lovely post on RA Frenzy. It’s also 2am, and whether this thesis still makes sense in the morning remains […]

  6. […] strikes when one least expects it. I was compelled to put fingertips to keyboard after reading this lovely post on RA Frenzy. It’s also 2am, and whether this thesis still makes sense in the morning remains […]

  7. I’m glad you liked it, Skully. Read your post. Will give more thoughts later. :D


    It’s a one syllable word that’s pronounced pretty much like it looks. Hope that helps.


    I will have more PHWOAR worthy scenes coming up, but I need to create two categories. PHWOAR and Inner PHWOAR.

  8. […] the house on a cold evening. Like the architectural pose of the head on the fist. This is not a PHWOAR, but something else not quite so explosive. We need a new word, gang. Something with a sort of […]

  9. […] was really grateful for the discussions about “why Armitage” started by RAFrenzy and Skully. I’m sure these will continue. I am adding a new tag called “why […]

  10. […] I’ve noted elsewhere as part of a really interesting discussion started by Skully and RAFrenzy. I speculate that Mr. Armitage draws such a peculiar reaction from his fans due to the “can […]

  11. […] So much for maintaining balance in the appreciation of Richard Armitage. The man is loaded with more talent than totty.. but damn! I couldn’t let this week’s 7.5 rewatch pass without dedicating a post to “Pete”, aka Lucas North, suited up in all that splendor. So much for my lefty leaning ways, too. Me? Dazzled by a bloke in corporate attire? Yikes! Did I just “switch sides”? That’s the power of RArmitage for you. There is something about Richard. File this one under PHWOAR! […]

  12. […] place where I wrote about his characters’ effects on me. I was actually past it when I wrote the piece but was compelled to capture the phenomenon so I wouldn’t forget. Now I want what I always […]

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