This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Spot the frippet: funkster.

A lively word, funkster: a bit squat, maybe, but happy and energetic. (A funkster, for anyone who isn't sure, is either a performer or fan of funk music, or else someone who follows the latest trends in music, ideas, or fashion.)

It's a wonderful word with a strange history. It comes from funky, of course, which is one of those useful words which can mean more or less anything: soulful, passionate, stylish, earthy, exciting, cool.

Funky comes from funk, which is of course a style of music, but for a long time meant...well, smelly.

Smelly? What do you mean, smelly?

No offence, really, but funkster comes from the Old French word funkier and before that the Latin fūmigāre. And fūmigāre and funkier both mean to smoke.

My guess is that once upon a time the tobacco-smoky atmosphere of a music club (probably a blues club) was just the coolest place to be on the whole face of the earth.

Anyway, funkster: any dedicated follower of fashion.

So, most of us, then.

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