The 2021 Word Of The Year is…
a fussy or needlessly fault-finding person.
Fussbudget “one who is fussy or needlessly faultfinding” is a transparent compound of the nouns fuss “bustle, commotion” and budget “itemized list of funds or expenses.” The word entered English in the early 20th century; it became associated with the character Lucy Van Pelt in the comic strip Peanuts in the 1960s.
He was a fussbudget. His interest in ideas didn’t match his interest in small, and often silly, facts. Much of the time he saw neither the forest nor the trees but only a bit of the undergrowth.
“Friends,” the ever-popular television comedy, has already directed the action away from Chandler, the fussbudget, and Ross, the whiny paleontologist, to Joey of the big biceps and unambiguous urges.
the principle of living a balanced, moderately paced, low-fuss life.
The uncommon English noun lagom “the principle of living a balanced, moderate life” comes from Swedish lagom, a fossil noun form in the dative plural used as an adverb meaning “just right, just the thing,” literally “according to custom or common sense.” Lagom comes from an unattested Old Norse plural neuter noun lagu “what is laid down,” which in Old Icelandic becomes lǫg “law, laws.” The Old Norse neuter plural noun lagu was taken into late Old English as a feminine singular noun lagu by the year 1000, becoming lawe in Middle English, and law in English. Lagom entered English in the mid-1930s.
In the bigger picture, the balance of lagom goes way beyond emotional wellbeing and interior design to become all about belonging and shared responsibility—not just fitting in, but being part of a greater entity.
Many of the rituals, recipes and decoration ideas that filled out last year’s mountain of hygge books would fall outside the lagom threshold. To Swedes, they’d seem fussy, a bit much.
freely bestowed; plentiful; abundant.
Bounteous comes from Middle English bountevous, bounteuous, bontivous (and other variant spellings) “good, worthy, virtuous; knightly, valiant; generous, liberal,” from Old French bontieus, bontif (masculine), bontive (feminine) “benevolent, full of goodness, from Old French bonté, bontet (source of Middle English bounte, English bounty “generosity, generous gift”), from Latin bonitās (stem bonitāt-) “goodness, excellence.” The spelling bounteous arose in the early 15th century as if the etymology were bounte plus the adjective suffix –ous. Bounteous entered English in the second half of the 14th century.
Let’s not give up on pies. Usually, there’s a lush and sweet array—a loud hurrah to end the bounteous feast.
Mesmerized by the bounteous displays of freshly harvested produce, artisanal breads, and locally raised meats, I salivated with greedy glee, thinking of the market-inspired menus I could prepare if I moved here.