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Word of the Week: Flibbertigibbet

April 28, 2008

The so-called “Word of the Week”* returns after half a year’s absence…

flibbertigibbet

n. Motormouth; airhead.

Though it sounds like a Mary Poppins word, flibbertigibbet actually got its start in the Middle Ages and later caught Shakespeare’s golden ear. (See King Lear.)

Today, its five onomatopoeic syllables are sadly out of date, but Orange Bear is pretty sure he heard Mr. Crumpet say it once when he dropped a hammer on his toe.

  • And shall henceforth be known as “Word That Nobody Uses Anymore.” Watch for it in another six months.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. felineally permalink
    July 21, 2008 9:32 am

    Also adjective used to describe Maria in the Sound of Music, as it were: “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find that means “Maria”? A flibbertigibbet–a will-o-the-wisp–a clown!”

  2. felineally permalink
    July 21, 2008 9:33 am

    p.s. A great word of choice for a hammered toe. I’ll have to practice that.

  3. July 22, 2008 1:01 pm

    Oh, that’s right! Good call. 🙂 It had to be something Julie Andrews-y. (Orange Bear says that Mr. Crumpet did not sing the word when he dropped the hammer on his toe. It was much more guttural.)

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