One of my weekendpleasures is watching old movies . . . old like from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. I like to plop myself down on the couch witha ball of yarn and a crochet hook or knitting needles, watch the classics andjust chill.
I don’t know if thosemovies depict how people really interacted or spoke but it’s good cleanfun. Sometimes the dialogue includes aword that gets stuck in my head, a word that isn’t used in modern everydayconversation. It dig, dig, digs. Eventually, I make the effort to check itout.
One word that comesto mind is ‘picayune’. I heard it in themovie Mr. Skeffington from 1944 starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains. Bette was nominated for an Oscar for herperformance. But that’s neither here nor there . . . thepoint is that that silly word is now stuck in my brain and I’m here to purgeit.
This is what Ifound out about picayune . . .
Used up until themid-1800’s, a picayune was a small Spanish coin, worth half a real . . . aboutsix cents. Interestingly, the word isactually derived from a French word meaning ‘small coin’.
Eventually, a ‘picayune’came to mean something that is piddling or worthless.
So there you haveit.