This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Friday, 23 May 2014

Word To Use Today: mistigris.

 

There are some words that are worth cherishing entirely for their decorative purposes.

Mistigris, for example.

Jack of Clubs by casino - Jack of Clubs

Mistigris is a French word, and even though it's been around in English since the 1800s you still say it in the French way: MISTiGREE.

Why do I like it so much? I think it's because it sounds like a mixture of mist, mystery, and ambergris (which, although it comes from sperm whales, is said to smell lovely).

A mistigris is a blank card or joker - a wild card - a totally random piece of good luck that makes your hand more powerful. 

You'll find a mistigris in one form of poker, and mistigris can also be used as the name of the game in which a mistigris is used.

I started off by saying that the word mistigris is of decorative value, but it strikes me that saying mistigris is a lot quicker than saying a totally random piece of good luck that makes your hand more powerful.

So perhaps we should start using the word mistigris more often.

Word To Use Today: mistigris. This word is French, from the Old French mistigouri, and means pussycat or jack of clubs.

I'm afraid, though, that the connection between pussycats and jacks of clubs escapes me.



2 comments:

  1. I've been looking at etymologies too much, as I'm wanting it to mean misty grey!
    Which is a nice cat colour!

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    Replies
    1. Miste seems to mean pleasant, and the gris seems not to be from gris meaning grey, but from gourer, which means to make a mistake.

      I have no idea what that's got to do with either cats or Jacks of Clubs - though I CAN see the connection with wild cards.

      Mistigris is the perfect name for a stray moggie, anyway.

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