I DO have a word that I DO love. It’s a folksy word and sorta rural. It starts with DO. It’s …
do-fotchet (dew-fought’ chut) or said by the French (doo-foe’ shay)
For this word, we’re going to take a break from Merriam and Webster. DO get me right, it isn’t wrong to have some fun with colorful expressions when the need arises. The word do-fotchet DO live in many parts of America, I DO declare it DO.
A do-fotchet is another word for thingamajiggy or whatcha-ma-call-it-thingy.
Here, let’s use it. “When my son turned 10, I gave him his very own roll of duct tape to better his do-fotchet art.”
“Take this here do-fotchet and ratchet loose that thingamajiggy.”
“Nanny,” my 4-year-old grandgirl said to me, “hand me your phone so I can text my mother.” “What?” I stammered, “You know how to use this do-fotchet better than I do?”
I’m a retired school librarian and every week we’d have The Word of the Week. The kids looked forward to it because they never knew if it would be Latin, French, Yiddish or what and I loved hearing them use the words (and their parents told me THEY loved learning new words, too!). One of the all-time favorites was “kvetch”, a Yiddish verb that means “to complain loudly and constantly”, as in “Stop kvetching that there’s nothing to eat and have an apple!” BTW, clear pronunciation is VERY important with this word! I think that my elementary students were erudite, had a certain je-ne-sai quoi, engaged in some profound quid pro quo and, in short, were never flibbertigibbits, although they did appreciate serendipity!
You are a woman after my heart. What fun we could have over a backyard fence. Erudite is a fantastic word!
OOOoooo, I like that word! I will have to use it three times today so I can remember it.
One of my favorite words, :Fais do-do is a name for a Cajun dance party, originating before World War II. According to Mark Humphrey the parties were named for “the gentle command (‘go to sleep’) young mothers offered bawling infants.” He quotes early Cajun musician Edwin Duhon of the Hackberry Ramblers, “She’d go to the cry room, give the baby a nipple and say, ‘Fais do-do.’ She’d want the baby to go to sleep fast, ’cause she’s worried about her husband dancing with somebody else out there.”
When we visit Louisiana, we always plan a Fais do-do to celebrate being back at our favorite vacation spot.
‘Do-do’ itself is a shortening of the French verb dormir (to sleep), used primarily in speaking to small children. Comparable to the American English “beddy-bye”, it is still commonly used by French-speaking people.
More than 50 years ago, when I was a sophomore (Greek for “wise fool”) I joined my dad and our neighbor at the fence. In the course of our conversation I used the word “exacerbate.”
“What was that word?” asked Mr. Presnell.
I was trapped. “Exacerbate?” I responded.
“And what would that mean?” he asked.
“Worsen,” I said.
He tested both words under his breath–the four-syllable word and the two-syllable one. Then he said, “‘Exacerbate’: I don’t reckon I’ll have call to use that word.”
That about says it all, my friend. Why exacerbate things?
One of my favorite words is really a phrase from my French family heritage. Ferme la Bouche! Which is to say, shut your mouth! I use it when I want peace and quiet but I don’t want to sound very rude, somehow,when it is said in French, it doesn’t come across as so mean and nasty.
“Wagafritz”is my go-to word. My father taught me this word that he learned from reading the Sunday comics as child. Pogo – do you remember the comic strip Pogo? – or one of his cohorts would be exasperated or frustrated and exclaim “wagafritz”. I think this may be the perfect word. I use it all the time…