Filed under Words others have shared


Such a sweet little word. You can nibble chocolate covered pomegranate seeds or you can nibble an ear lobe. And according to wikipedia, you can also have a nibble of computer data which is a byte of information. There’s actually a magazine called Nibble, for devotees of the Apple II. And there’s the definition, … Continue reading


It was a typical day at the office. It was the day we celebrated the November birthdays. Coworkers were discussing blogs, and I of course mentioned this one. Before I knew it, the “bon mots” were flying thick and fast around the water cooler. One of them that landed in my notes was catawampus. In … Continue reading


I asked twitter friends tonight to suggest words for this blog. I got some amazingly clever suggestions (not listing them here as I’ll use them other days). And of all the words suggested, the one that I connected with was daft. I’m not saying I think of myself as senseless or foolish (which is what … Continue reading


My husband recently bought a motorcycle. He loves it. He rides it to work. He tinkers with it a bit. And he’d like me to ride pillion. Um, say what? Yes, you read that right: pillion. When he first said this to me I thought it was one of his silly made up words. Like … Continue reading

Give No Quarter

This isn’t the first time that a bon mot was inspired by a Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs novel. An early post, betwixt & between came from Maisie. Recently while reading the third book in the series, which was a gift from a fellow book lover, my daughter was inspired to share the phrase, give no … Continue reading


This word probably needs no explanation. I merely include it on this blog because it’s so much fun that it’s clearly a bon mot. Thank you by the way, to Cathy (aka @jayhawk100) for suggesting it. Other words for scalawag are rascal and scamp. And as mentioned in a comment to the previous post, rapscallion … Continue reading


While intuit doesn’t have any unique origins (that I could find), it’s a bon mot because of a recent usage I came across. Intuit means to know intuitively or by immediate perception. That kind of definition isn’t very satisfying. Really, when is it helpful to define a word using that word? Regardless, it all started with an article my … Continue reading


“The neighbor’s children oologized the nest in the tree in our front yard.” Do you think that means the children spoke kind words about the recently departed birds? Think again. To oologize is to hunt or take the eggs from a nest. Those children don’t seem so sweet now, do they? I’d like to thank … Continue reading


In researching skullduggery, I came across so many other wonderful words I could hardly contain my glee. One site ( suggested, see also: hanky panky, hocus-pocus, jiggery-pokery.  And another site, (The Word Detective) suggested one meaning as “clandestine machinations.” That’s like a bonus round of words. Clandestine? Machinations? This is good stuff. As for where skullduggery comes … Continue reading


Okay, I’ll just come clean from the start and say it: until I looked it up tonight, I thought milquetoast was spelled “milk toast”. Clearly I didn’t know that the word came from the 1930’s comic strip, The Timid Soul, by H. T. Webster. Casper Milquetoast was a timid, unassertive man. The character’s name is a deliberate … Continue reading