Fustilugs and frowzy??

Yesterday, our college-aged son stopped by my work. As he was leaving, he mysteriously remarked about something that he would be bringing home at the end of the semester. He wouldn’t tell me what it was. He just grinned mischievously.

After thinking about it for a few minutes, I came to the conclusion that he was bringing home a cat. So, I sent him an e-mail indicating that furry critters that say meow would not be welcomed. (I hate having cats shed on our patio furniture. I hate cats shedding fur on our grill where I cook food. I hate cats using our patio as a litter box. I hate going out the back door and having a flock of cats that are underfoot making me trip and stumble.)

When I went home, I hounded my husband into telling me what our son wanted to bring home. (Our son indicated that he had told his father what it was.) Too my dismay, my husband informed me that yes indeedy it was a furry little critter that meowed. After a long discussion, I capitulated and rescinded what I told our son. Sigh . . . .

Capitulate (kuh-pich-uh-leyt) is a verb that means to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms. To give up resistance or to yield. I gave in. I yielded. I surrendered to my husband’s and son’s desire to have a baby kitty. Yes, yes, I know that baby kittens are cute, cuddly and playful. But they grow up into cats. And if those cats happen to be female, they have babies that grow up into cats and we end up having cats swarming all over the place. (I know, I know, we could have them neutered. That’s a story for another day . . . ) Since I know how much they like kitties, I capitulated on the condition that the kitten had to be a male. Then, I rescinded my statement that I wouldn’t allow our son to bring home a baby kitty.

Rescind (ri-sind) is a verb that means to abrogate (I shared that word back at the first of March); annul, revoke, repeal, invalidate by a later action or a higher authority, nullify, or withdraw. So I revoked, withdrew, and invalidated my previous edict and am now allowing our son to bring the kitty home. I hope I don’t regret it. And he’d better appreciate my rescinding my previous stand!

On to the next word.

Last night, I was going through back e-mail messages and came across a word that I used in a message to one of my friends. I used the word fustilugs to tongue-in-cheek describe myself. A fustilugs (fuhs-tee-luhgs) is an adjective that means a grossly fat, unwieldy, corpulent person — especially a woman. (Mmmm . . . why can’t a man be considered a fustilugs??) So, instead of calling an exceedingly large woman fat, next time you could use a different word and say she was a fustilugs.

It was interesting to note that the English Oxford Dictionary included the word ‘frowzy’ in the definition of fustilugs. (Frowzy also refers to a woman. I think I’m going to have to go on a word hunt to find similar words that could apply to fat men!)

Frowzy (frou-zee) is an adjective that means ill-smelling, fusty, musty, an unpleasant smell from being dirty, unwashed, ill-ventilated. In other words, STINKY! So a fustilugs woman is not only fat, she also smells to high heaven.

Now in defense of myself, I am not really a fustilugs. I am not grossly fat. Not even somewhat fat. Well, maybe a smidgen . . . Nor do I stink. I bathe daily, use deodorant, and put on lightly scented lotions and perfumes. That’s why calling myself a fustilugs was so ironic and tongue-in-cheek!

So — when your children come pleading to you, begging you to allow them to have a kitten, consider capitulating. After all, who can resist a fluffy baby kitty??

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