Thursday, January 2, 2014


Happy new year! I hope 2014 is treating you well so far. I'm on holidays still, and have spent most of this year (ha) reclining on my couch watching Bored to Death on DVD and chuckling heartily. 

It's a comedy about a heartbroken, struggling writer called Jonathan who lives in Brooklyn and moonlights as an unlicensed, bumbling, but actually-quite-successful private investigator. My favourite character is Jonathan's boss/friend/father figure, George, who's played by Ted Danson. He's a heavy drinking, pot smoking, several-times-divorced magazine editor, who is far less jaded and cynical than one would expect. He detests boredom and gleefully helps out with some of Jonathan's cases. 

Anyway, I'm not writing  a review here...this post is about word nerdery. 

In the first couple of episodes George uses the word 'milquetoast' (a timid, spineless person) twice. 'Don't be a milquetoast, Jonathan," he said. I already liked the show before that, but I liked it a lot after George said milquetoast. 

Then I got 'milquetoast' stuck in my head like a one-word ear worm. A wordworm. It kept popping into my head randomly and often. (This happens to me sometimes for some reason. It used to happen with 'antimacassar' and 'amygdala'.) 

This morning I woke up early, fell asleep again and milquetoast featured in my dream, but I don't recall what actually happened. I woke up thinking about milquetoast. If only I could work it into a conversation...without people thinking I'm saying "milk toast". 

I have also watched two seasons of Girls. It only occurred to me after I started watching Bored to Death that both series revolve around the lives of struggling writers living in Brooklyn. Total coincidence. 

I was prepared to find Girls irritating, but I didn't. I liked it a lot and chuckled heartily at it. 

PS I have left the house this year. 

1 comment:

Lindy said...

I had never heard of the word 'milquetoast', but thought it sounded like a breakfast dish. Sure enough when I looked up the etymology this is what I found:
From the character Caspar Milquetoast of the comic strip The Timid Soul, created by Harold Webster and first published in 1924 (named after the American dish milk toast).
Thanks for the interesting post Jayne and all the best for the New Year.