Friday, December 16, 2011

Random List of Words I Like

Well, it's actually one of the words from a random list, etc. Either because of their sound or meaning or origin or the way they look when written out or just because. I think I'll do one a week since this is long enough as is. This week's word is:

badinage: This means light banter or joking. It came into English about 1650–60 from French,  equivalent to badin ( er ) to joke, trifle (verbal derivative of badin  joker, banterer < Old Provençal:  fool; bad ( ar ) to gape (< Vulgar Latin batāre; compare bay) + -in  < Latin -īnus -ine) + -age. (Source the 2011 Random House Dictionary)
  The Random House Dictionary 2011. (Isn't it just like being back in English class in high school?  Thought so.)
Here's a nice quote using badinage (eventually):
There is a certain jargon, which, in French, I should call un Persiflage d'Affaires, that a foreign Minister ought to be perfectly master of, and may be used very advantageously at great entertainments, in mixed companies, and in all occasions where he must speak, and should say nothing. Well turned and well spoken, it seems to mean something, though in truth it means nothing. It is a kind of political badinage, which prevents or removes a thousand difficulties, to which a foreign Minister is exposed in mixed conversations.
-Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield, 4th Earl <- Here's his picture. Cute, huh?)

I know this was your thrill for the day. Go lie down or have some chocolate. Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Oooooh, I like that one, too. I am going to try to work "badinage" into my conversations sometime this weekend.

    Will you do words you DON'T like, too? I have a suggestion for that list: "onus". Blech! It's a terrible word!