Monday, January 09, 2006

Word of the Day

"I love mankind. It's the people I can't stand." Do you ever find yourself
repeating those words of cartoonist Charles Schulz? Maybe you feel surrounded
by persons described in this week's AWAD. There are times when everyone
around us seems less than charming. But remember, just like the fingers of
your hand, it takes all kinds to make this world.

fussbudget (FUS-buj-it) noun

One who is fussy about unimportant things.

[From fuss + budget, from Middle English, from Old French bougette,
diminutive of bouge (bag), from Latin bulga (bag). Ultimately from
Indo-European root bhelgh- (to swell) that is also the source of
bulge, bellows, billow, belly, and bolster.]

Today's word in Visual Thesaurus:

A synonym of this word is fusspot. Usually we dislike fusspots and
fussbudgets but sometimes we wish there were fussbudgets among our
elected leaders who cared enough to fuss about the budget of this

The word budget is a marvelous example of how the language goes around.
French bougette (little bag) came to English, developed a new sense:
budget (a financial estimate), and then went back to French in its new
avatar. Most living languages are mongrels and that's what makes them
richer. Why fuss about keeping them "pure"?

-Anu Garg (

"[Nathan Lane] has shone in period pieces and as Bette Midler's fussbudget
husband in Isn't She Great."
Ryan Gilbey; 'I Don't Know What Goes on in Their Heads Out in Hollywood';
The Guardian (London, UK); Dec 15, 2005.


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