Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Word of the day: bagatelle

The word of the day is bagatelle:
  1. something of little value or importance; a trifle.
  2. a game played on a board having holes at one end into which balls are to be struck with a cue.
  3. pinball.
  4. a short and light musical composition, typically for the piano.
1630s, "a trifle," from Fr. bagatelle "knicknack, bauble, trinket" (16c.), from It. bagatella "a trifle," dim. of L. baca "berry." As "a piece of light music," it is attested from 1827.


"Until we solve the world's desperate socio-economic problems, we can't waste our time on bagatelles like obscure Native American languages."

 - Jared Diamond quoting a hypothetical counterargument in The World Until Yesterday

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