Vest-Pocket Vocabulary

Fiz’gig, n. a flirt, a squib, a fish-spear.

Word in the Wild: The flamboyantly attired fizgig hefted her fizgig, gauged its balance and weight, eyed the trout, took aim, and—bam! A fizgig (lit by some young hooligan, no doubt) went off  in the forest behind her, causing her to miss her quarry and lose her temper.

How a woman of questionable character, a firework, and a harpoon all came to share this strange word is a mystery that not even the OED can solve. But the more I think on it, the less surprised I become. There is just something about this playful-sounding, delightfully enigmatic word that makes me want to assign it even more meanings: perhaps it could also denote a bad perm or a toy dog that has delusions of grandeur? What do you think?

You can find a complete listing of the Word Blog’s Vest-Pocket Vocabulary entries and learn more about where they come from here.

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