Warning – this Wordsmith is grumpy.
But during this month, the first day of Spring has first been delayed and then, allegedly, come and gone.
Meanwhile the snow – or at the very least the threat of it – certainly hasn’t.
Plus I have spent quite a bit of the last part of the month laid low by the lurg.
So March’s Wordsmith’s World is more Wordsmiths Woe, am afraid.
Fittingly, in between stumbling on snow, I also stumbled across the article ‘A Short-Tempered History of the Curmudgeon’ from one of my favourite writing resources Wordnik.
(Also fittingly the article is accompanied by a picture of Oscar the Grouch...)
The history of curmudgeon might be ‘short-tempered’ but the answer to the question of its derivations is just plain short – no-one really knows.
There are suggestions the term referred to someone who hides or hoards corn, while other think it could be an English corruption of the French phrase cœur méchant (malicious heart).
The OED editors, meanwhile, are “more open to the theory that the first syllable of ‘curmudgeon’ may reflect the word ‘cur,’ which can refer to a despicable or cowardly person as well as a vicious or undesirable dog”.
The article handily lists a whole bunch of other whiney words including malcontent, grump, crank and sourpuss.
No ‘mardy’ yet though…and none which quite fit my mood this month.
But while scrolling – and sneezing – my way though social media I spotted the term for me on Twitter.
And so til next month (when I should by rights FINALLY be full of the joys of Spring) I remain: