Monday, January 14, 2013

Word of the Week - Talk Back

Scolding by Jose Ferras de Almeida

I have children. Therefore I have uttered the phrase (a time or two--ahem) "Don't talk back." Or perhaps occasionally, "No back-talk." But when I had a character using the same, I ran into a problem.

Back-talk, meaning "an impertinent retort" didn't come around until 1858. Which is, I suppose, why we see phrases like "No impertinence" in older works instead, LOL. Interestingly, the phrase is believed it have originated in literary circles, when writers tried to imitate "low" Irish idioms. Who knew?

Talk back is a form of back-talk that followed it about a decade later. For some reason I thought that one would have been the original, but shows what I know, I suppose. ;-)

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start! And stay tuned--I have some good news to share with y'all later in the week. =)


  1. Oooh - good news? Cool. Waiting with bated breath :)

    Love these lessons. Don't you DARE stop em.

  2. I enjoy the Word of the week posts too. :)
    Couldn't we have a "hint?" lol