My nephew recently e-mailed me and used the word ‘bonhomous’ in his message. I thought that was a fabulous word and decided I needed to write about it here!
Bonhomous (bon-uh–muss) is an adjective that means frank and simple good-heartedness; a good-natured manner; friendliness. (Bonhomous is the adjective form of the noun bonhomie. Bonhomie comes from the French ‘bonhomme’ which means good-natured man.)
You probably know people whose general personality is good natured, cheerful, and pleasant. Those types of people are nice to be around and to associate with. I know a person who is very negative in everything she says and does. I feel sorry for her. She seems to be so unhappy. But, I digress. Back to bonhomous.
If a clerk in a store or a waitress in a restaurant is cheerful and friendly, you could say they were bonhomous. I taught a technology class yesterday and every person sat at their computer like the proverbial bump on a log. None of them were bonhomous. They didn’t smile. They hardly even looked at me. Must have been too early in the morning for them.
Dr. Seus’ Grinch is . . . is . . . well . . . a grinch. Definitely not bonhomous!
There are some drivers on the public transportation buses that I ride that are bonhomous — they greet the passengers with a smile and a cheerful ‘Good morning’ or ‘good afternoon.’
Most of the times, we can choose what attitude we have. Give me bonhomous over being a grinch any ol’ day!