Compact and Bijou

fry laurieYou may think my husband’s car is small, but he would say his little habanero orange Prius C is compact and bijou. Compact and what? Compact and bijou. Isn’t that a wonderful phrase? Of course you know compact means dense or firmly packed together. But what about bijou? I always pictured a blinking neon theatre sign. I’m sure this image is evoked because there was a Bijou Theatre in St. Louis where I grew up. But the word bijou, according to the Free Dictionary, means, “something small and delicately worked” or “small but elegant and tasteful”. The phrase compact and bijou was popularized by British comedy team Fry & Laurie (that’s Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie) in this advert for Alliance & Leicester (mortgage brokers). I may have to spend a little time making my cube at work more elegant, so that I can say its compact and bijou.

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