Oh, how I’ve missed you all! My writing for Frankly Curious is really the basis of my social life. Make of that what you will. If it sounds really pathetic, I think you get the idea. And these odd words posts are often very personal. Today, we do Page 27 of The New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced Words: Revised Edition. Today’s word is “billet-doux.”
Too Tired to Go Beyond Billet-doux
Part 27 was no all that great. It had a bunch of bi- words and then a bunch of bio- words. Not a lot of fun. But in addition to that, I’m still really tired. And whatever I had affected my eyes and is still doing so. So reading is difficult. But I will tell you one story.
When I was young, I was with some friends at the beach at night. And as I walked along the wet sand, it seemed like sparklers were emitting from the front of my shoes. Now me being me, I just thought I was hallucinating. So I asked a friend and sure enough, it was a real thing. We picked up sand and poured it on the ground and saw the same thing. So we took a bucket of it home. The next night, there were no sparklers in the bucket of sand. I think that’s when I first realized that the light came from little animals — which were all dead now. And that what I had seen was bioluminescence.
But enough of that. On to billet-doux:
1. a love letter.
Date: late 17th century.
Origin: from French billet-doux, meaning “sweet note.”
Example: The missive that sets wheels in motion here seems, by contrast, harmless: an anonymous billet-doux. —Daily Mail