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Some words just make me smile. Tootling is one of them. We were just tootling down the road with the dog, taking a spin around the neighborhood. You really can’t be grumpy or down or anything but smiling when you’re tootling. We should all tootle more often. I think of tootling as a cousin to … Continue reading


  What a funny word. Brouhaha. Pronounced brew-ha-ha. For such a seemingly silly word, it has some interesting origins. tells us it means, “excited public interest, discussion or the like” or “an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil.” It’s either from the French, “brou, ha, ha!” which apparently was an exclamation by a character representing … Continue reading


This is one of those words that if I had to guess at its meaning, I’d be dead wrong. It just sounds so silly. I picture a really goofy superhero. Supercilious, according to is an adjective meaning “showing haughty disdain”. As in, Chad thinks he’s so much better than us; his smug supercilious grin … Continue reading


Why is it that we rarely see the word intrepid without “reporter” or “explorer” after it? Is there nothing else intrepid beyond reporters or explorers? It’s such a great word, meaning “characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance,” according to Merriam-Webster.  Whenever I think of intrepid, I think of Nancy Drew or Maisie Dobbs. Both … Continue reading


I used to think of indelible as a nasty word. As in, “Dragging the chair across the floor left an indelible mark.” I do know that it means “cannot be removed, washed away, erased, or forgotten.”  But still, I thought of it only in terms of an indelible marker (e.g., a Sharpie, though I do … Continue reading

Face the Music

As my radio alarm clock blared an unmemorable tune at 5:31 this morning (I prefer waking up to odd numbers), the phrase face the music came to mind. If you wake to a radio alarm, you face the music daily. Where did this phrase come from? My research on tells me it has three … Continue reading


Who knew that such a nonsense word as fiddlesticks had such varied etymology? Certainly not me. I know it’s generally an expression meaning something akin to “Nonsense!” I’ve heard the expression fiddlesticks many times, but when I came across it today while reading Elizabeth George, it struck me as a really good word. One character says it, … Continue reading


This is one of those words that are just so fun to say. Go on…churlish. Drawing it out is especially fun (though I don’t suggest it, unless you want to sound a bit ridiculously or if no one else is around). It means simply to be rude in a mean-spirited way. It comes from the … Continue reading

A Bon Mot of a Different Color

My apologies for the lack of bon mots recently. I’ve had a lot on my plate and writing has taken a backseat to, well, life.  In place of a post today, I offer you Misuse of Idioms by Kristina Horner, which my daughter shared with me. I think you’ll find it has a similar flavor to … Continue reading