Filed under Words I like the sound of

Jangly

I love this word. Two images come to mind when I hear jangly. First, I picture a dozen silver and gold bracelets on a woman’s arm, clanging musically against each other as she talks animatedly, moving her hands about. The bracelets sound all jangly. Second, I think of jangly nerves. As in, “Marilyn was on … Continue reading

Schmaltzy

It was a Saturday morning in May of 2013. We were seated around a table in the meeting room at Lackman Library discussing The Tea Rose  by Jennifer Donnelly, when one of our members pronounced, “I thought it was schmaltzy.” Ding! I grabbed my phone (sorry, I know my book club pals would probably prefer … Continue reading

Moxie

“Moxie originated as a patent medicine called ‘Moxie Nerve Food,’” Really? That’s what wikipedia says about the word moxie. Maybe you knew that, but I sure didn’t. I thought moxie meant courage or spunk. I thought it was similar to gumption. And that’s also correct. But I wasn’t prepared to learn that according to the … Continue reading

Kibosh

The morning was so gorgeous, we were thinking we might have a picnic on the front lawn in the afternoon. Sadly, the rain put the kibosh on that plan. Kibosh. What a great word to use when you want to say something was cut short in a dramatic fashion. This one has been sitting on … Continue reading

Gumption

That gal’s got gumption! It’s curious to me that I only ever connect this word to females. There’s nothing in it’s meaning to suggest the feminine. The Oxford Dictionary tells us gumption is shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness. It’s from the Scottish, and was first used in the 1700’s. When I hear that definition I … Continue reading

Simpatico

I love this word. Okay, okay, I say that about nearly all of these bon mots. But simpatico just has that roll-off-the-tongue quality. It’s hard to mispronounce. And to me, it’s so very evocative. The first image that comes to mind is Ben Stiller and Edward Norton, sauntering (or maybe sashaying) down the streets of … Continue reading

Brooch

Okay, now you gotta admit, this is a funny word; brooch. Go on, say it…brooch. Chances are you wouldn’t have to check Merriam Webster to know it’s, “an ornament that is held by a pin or clasp and is worn at or near the neck”. And yet, I did have to look it up today … Continue reading

Compact and Bijou

You 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 … Continue reading

Ensconce

I recently became a huge fan of British comedic actress Miranda Hart. I have my husband to thank for this. He got hooked on Call the Midwife. Yes, you read that right; my husband got hooked on the British drama, Call the Midwife. He can tell you about all the characters, their quirks and foibles. … Continue reading

Flibbertigibbet

Quick – name a character in in a book, play, or mythology you would describe as a flibbertigibbet. Did you say Maria, that gutsy, guitar playing, mountain top twirling nun from The Sound of Music? That’s who I thought of. How about Puck, the mischievous fairy? And then there’s King Lear. Wait. King Lear? That’s … Continue reading