Filed under Words that make me smile

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

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

Calamity

Earlier this week my daughter was driving to LA with a small group of fellow students for a week-long service project, learning about and working with Homeboy Industries. She’s busy. She’s got a lot going on. I don’t get a lot of texts from her. But I do read her tweets, including this one: What … 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

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

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

Fortnight

While listening to NPR today, a foreign reporter used the word fortnight. And I thought, ah now there’s a good word. Fortnight. Most likely I first heard the word while reading Shakespeare in the 8th grade (did we start Shakespeare in the 8th grade?) The Online Etymology Dictionary tells us it’s from the 17th century, … Continue reading

Slapdash

“He did a real slapdash job when he painted the front door. It’s a lovely shade of red, but quite sloppy.” I love this word. It’s not onomatopoeia, but almost. We know from wordnik.com that it means, “hasty and careless”, and also bold. Etymology online gives a very straightforward origin, telling us slapdash is an … Continue reading

Shenanigans

Shenanigans. A word you can’t say without smiling or smirking. Well, I can’t, anyway. And I’m more than a little amused that in researching this word I found it was a children’s television program that ran from September 26, 1964 to March 20, 1965, and again from September 25 to December 18, 1965. This amuses me as I … Continue reading