Growlery

Growlery is a word invented by Charles Dickens in his 1852 serial, Bleak House.

The author, whose work could best be described as … um, well, “Dickensian,” wrote, “This, you must know, is the growlery. When I am out of humour, I come and growl here.”

A place to turn the worst of times into the best of times.

A retreat to go to when you’re feeling out of sorts.

A place of refuge, used to get yourself out of a funk.

A den, or a lair, with which to prowl with one’s growler out. (Urban Dictionary)

What’s your personal growlery? A bathtub, filled with bubbles and a glass of wine? A windowseat with a stack of TBR novels? A pup tent in the mountains? A family dinner with everyone at home all at once for a change? An easel with new paints set up in the garden?

“A study or growlery is just as dear to a man’s heart as a boudoir is to a woman’s; and the master of the house deserves to have some corner which shall be his very own, whither he can retire when he wishes to read or work, or simply smoke and rest, or receive business visitors, blissfully undisturbed by the rest of the household.”
– Lambert’s Suburban Architecture, 1894

Man cave? But we disagree … women need a growlery, too!

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Alharaca

Don’t even pretend you’ve never experienced and/or displayed this one.

You know you have.

Probably when you were hungry (i.e. hangry = the state of being hungry and angry all at once).

Or maybe when you’ve just had “one of those days.” You know the ones: when you lose things, the dog gets out, the children get sick, the deadline looms, and you just can’t take one more thing slipping sideways on you.

What is alharaca, anyway?

(n.) an extraordinary or violent emotional reaction to something small and insignificant.

Can you say hissy-fit?

Photo by Fox Film Corporation via Wikimedia Commons.

Embarrassing as a moment of alharaca can be in hindsight, we’ve all been there. You don’t have to be Nellie Olsen, Miss Piggy, or the Queen of Hearts; even the least drama-queen-like of us farmgirls can relate.

As a wise woman once said, “Pardon me while I overreact irrationally.”

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Bumfuzzle

What the heck? What kind of a word is this? It sounds like the name of a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show winner.

“Here, Lord Bumfuzzle, let’s trim the fluff before the talent portion!”

photo by Blackoranges via Wikimedia Commons

Well, if you’re confused, you’re not far off from the actual description.

Origin: Bumfuzzle comes from bum-, an expressive prefix, perhaps to be identified with the initial syllable of bamboozle, and fuzzle “to confuse,” perhaps expressive alteration of fuddle. It’s been used in English since around 1900.

Definitions for bumfuzzle

  • Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S., to confuse or fluster.

“This holyfied lady’s jest tryin’ to bumfuzzle us.”
– Joan Hess, Mischief in Maggody, 1988

“This is an attempt to bumfuzzle,” said the President.
– William Safire, “On Language: The Way We Live Now,” New York Times Magazine, November 14, 1999

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