Tag Archives: Etymology

A Bit of This and That and Nothing in Particular

This is a bit of this and that for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I love words and like to dabble lightly in etymology. When I am writing I will sometimes look for new words and synonyms on Dictionary.com. I went there for this piece and got carried away with The Word of the Day Word List. I love these zany words and their meanings. Feel free to add them to your vocabulary. They may come in handy this election season. So hear goes:

bafflegab: slang, confusing or generally unintelligible jargon; gobbledegook.

This sounds like it could describe my writing sometimes. Bafflegab is a “portmanteau” word, a combining of two words, baffle and gab. I like gobbledegook too.

bissextus: no it is not referring to sexual orientation. This word refers to February 29th, the extra day added every 4th year to compensate for the 6 hours that our 365 day year falls short of the solar year.

cachinnate: to laugh loudly or immoderately

This sounds like a good idea, anything in immoderation especially laughing.

flumadiddle: utter nonsense, worthless frills. An Americanism, ( yay! This means we Americans made this up), combining flummery and diddle.

Sounds very sensible to me.

frabjous: informal, wonderful, elegant, superb. Coined by Lewis Carrol in Through the Looking Glass. ” O frabjous day! Callooh / Callay! / He chortled in his joy.

And last but not least, ( drum roll) :

quidnunc: a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody.

I have know a few quidnuncs in my day.

The Quidnunc Comes to Visit

Last week an acquaintance dropped by and I asked her, “Do you have any plans for Bissextus?”

“I am not bissextus”, she replied, looking suspicious.

“Bissextus is a word for February 29th. It is a Latin word,” I said.

“Why can’t you just speak English like everyone else?” she said.

” That reminds me, did you watch the Republican debates?” she went on.

” Yes I watched something but I don’t know if I would call it a debate,” I answered.

“What did you think of it?” she continued.

“I thought it was too much bafflegab, and flumadiddle,” I exclaimed.

She looked befuddled and said, “Can you repeat that? I think I did not hear you correctly.”

I said, ” Bafflegab, and flumadiddle.”

“Oh well now I see,” she said but she didn’t, looking wide eyed at me.

I began to cachinnate and fell on the floor as she scurried out the door.

After I caught my breath, I said, “Oh frabjous day! The quidnunc went away!


That is all I have to say on this.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Words and definitions are from Dictionary.com. Featured image of Alice Through the Looking Glass is by sammydavisdog on Flickr.


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