Filed under Words that make me smile


“Oh no, it’s tomorrow! I must scurry.” So read a facebook update this morning from the delightful Judy Clement Wall.  Scurry. What a great word. Or well, a bon mot. You probably already know it means to move hurriedly, with short quick steps. According to etymonline, it may be “from hurry scurry (1732), a reduplication … Continue reading


I love this word. My apologies – I do realize I start a lot of posts that way, but well, heck, this blog is called “bon mots/good words” for a reason. But isn’t this a fun one? It was suggested by a friend. I would not categorize her as snarky, but she hears a lot … Continue reading


“You look fetching tonight.” Doesn’t that sound so much nicer than “You look attractive tonight”? According to Merriam Webster fetching simply means attractive or pleasing. But to me, it implies alluring, drawing others to you. Your new hair style may be attractive. But that new little black dress and heels are fetching. The online etymology dictionary … Continue reading


“You’re full of malarkey!” Isn’t that a great word? Somehow it’s classier than being full of baloney. Malarkey sounds a little more mysterious. Like, maybe what you’re full of is something unknown and wonderful. Maybe not. It sounds Irish to me, though I could find evidence to support that. It’s origins are murky. My mom … Continue reading


When I think of this word, I think of the discombobulated robot in Lost in Space, saying over and over again, “That does not compute.” I’ve used discombobulated myself, but never really thought about it. I think most people know that it means to confuse or upset. According to Wiktionary, it’s likely that it’s a … Continue reading


Come on…tell me you can hear the word sashay and not picture some sassy guy or gal, hips rhythmically swinging from side to side. Sashay is almost a fun to say as it is to do. It means to walk or glide or “to strut or move about in an ostentatious or conspicuous manner”, according … Continue reading

At Sixes and Sevens

“I’m so frustrated with Luca; we’ve been at sixes and sevens all day.” Why do we not use this phrase in the U.S.? It’s wonderful. It’s evocative (though I’m not sure of exactly what). I love this phrase. I probably first learned it while reading an English or Irish novel. And I’ve come across it … Continue reading


It’s late one evening, and my husband is talking about vacation ideas. Well, not so much vacation, but long weekend. At one point he suggests the idea of meandering around western Kansas and Colorado. I like this. Meandering. In and of itself, the word suggests something unscheduled and peaceful. It’s not possible to meander and … 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

Polka Dots

Don’t you just love polka dots?  They evoke images of children’s clothes, party balloons, and of course itsy bitsy teenie weenie bikinis. I also picture women dressed in polka dots dresses having tea, in a garden. Polka dots are widely recognized the world over. But did you know that while they are not named after … Continue reading