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A.Word.A.Day--fussbudget

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"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.]

See more usage examples of fuss-budget in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

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 country.

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 (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"[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.

X-Bonus

We love flattery, even though we are not deceived by it, because it shows that we are of importance enough to be courted. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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