Saturday, May 20, 2006

It's all in the name

This post is dedicated to my friend "P", who asked me the meaning behind the name of my blog.

Fibbertigibbet happens to be my favourite word in the English language. I have no idea where I had picked up this word, but it has been with me since I was a teenager.

It was originally defined to me as "a frivolous and flighty female" (say that 3 times fast!). Dictionary.com actually had it as a Word of the Day, andMerriam-Webster online tells me that the etymology goes back to the times when Middle English was en vogue. (eg in Chaucer's time). Cool!

I've actually seen this archaic word in two different novels, one that was fairly old, and I wished that I'd remember the title of the book. The other instance was in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban, Chapter 15. It was used as a password to get into the Gryffendor common room. I've actually contemplated writing to JK Rowling to not only commend her use of my favourite word but keeping such an archaic thing alive and kicking. Haven't written to her yet.

So the million-dollar question now becomes, "Is Weed a flibbertigibbet?" You'll need to ask the hubby, he's the best judge of me. =P

1 comment:

Gwynabella said...

OMG! I read this post today at work and I was mulling over the fact that I can't read phonetics very well, and then I was reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five - and there it was! On page 29! "All this responsibility...made her a bitchy flibbertigibbet"!!!
This is so weird...