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SNUGGERY

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SNUGGERY

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:45 am

• snuggery •


Pronunciation: snêg-êr-ee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A snug place, a friendly nook to which someone might retreat or retire for seclusion and comfort. 2. A snug job position offering security without risk, a sinecure. 3. (Britain) A small room adjoining the bar in a pub.

Notes: Today's Good Word is a member of a fascinating family of comfort terms based on snug, a word remindful of a mother's arms: close, trustworthy, secure. To find that snugness, we snuggle, a verb that implies deep affection and complete trust. We all have or wish we had a place where we could occasionally retreat from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune", as Hamlet put it. That would be our snuggery. Of course, if you have more than one, change the [y] to [ie] for the plural: snuggeries.

In Play: A snuggery is basically a comfort blanket for adults: "Someone must have hurt his feelings; Justin Case just crawled off into his snuggery to sulk." However, this word is based on snug with the place suffix -ery (winery, bakery, eatery), so it may be applied to any snug place, including a job or position: "Felicia's job has become a little snuggery where no one bothers her, and she bothers no one."

Word History: The adjective snug started out as a nautical term, as to make a ship snug and trim in preparation for a storm. However, today's Good Word was used for centuries as a verb meaning "to snuggle". The adjective is related to Swedish snygg and Danish snøg "neat, tidy, pretty", but little more is known about it. It might be related to "snail", which in Old English was snaegel, and refers to a creature that carries its snuggery on its back. However, we have scant evidence of such a link.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:50 am

Inglenook is a synonym for snuggery that we borrowed from Scottish. For a while, it was a popular word for a room for babies and small children in a church; like the British crèche. The word snug has a very snug feeling about it.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby MTC » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:35 am

"As snug as a bug in a rug," the cutesy saying goes.

On the darker side of snug retreats is the "growlery:" (archaic) a place to retreat to, alone, when ill-humoured.
(Collins English Dictionary)

I understand the OED Shorter Edition has expelled this ill-tempered word, possibly for misbehavior.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby David Myer » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:26 am

I like 'Growlery', but of course we have to come back to my favourite place to sulk - not a snuggery, nor a growlery, but a boudoir. A boudoir is not a lady's bedroom or withdrawing room, but a sulking room - from the french bouder to sulk, or to be sulky. No, a snuggery is definitely a warm place to be contented. Go to the boudoir or growlery to sulk.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby MTC » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:24 am

I might consider retreating (re"treat"ing, that is) to a boudoir, but it certainly would not be to sulk! If I understand the definition correctly, boudoir refers exclusively to a woman's retreat or place of ("sulkage"?)
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:05 pm

Man Cave.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby David Myer » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:40 pm

Why should it only be women that sulk? Maybe men don't sulk in France? Perhaps the French have a different word for a male sulk. Of course as we know, a word means what its common usage takes it to mean. It's only we pedants and semanticists that like to use words as they were originally intended. And it's certainly so that boudoir has come to be a woman's retreat. But it is fun to understand the origin. I wonder if 'sulk' has changed its meaning over the years. Maybe when a sulking room boudoir was invented, sulking was a different thing?
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby Philip Hudson » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:03 pm

Perhaps French women are better at sulking than other women. Napoleon’s Josephine was a pretty sulky, not very sultry, and definitely sullied dame. And I just noticed the similarity between sulky and sultry. Perhaps they have a common origin. Some men seem to like a pouting woman. I suppose they are a challenge. Any sexism in this posting is totally intentional but not seriously held. I do admit to being slightly wary of things French. I have spent a lot of time in Montreal.

Redneck wives don't have boudoirs.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby Slava » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:26 pm

Sultry has been through the Good Doctor's OR twice now, here and here. No relation to sulky noted.

However, sulky can be used to refer to nasty weather.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:03 am

Re sulky weather: "Nature, like us, is sometimes caught without her diadem." E. Dickinson
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby MTC » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:57 am

Good line from Dickinson. By the way someone has produced a new disputed photograph of Emily and a friend which makes her look stronger (I think) than the standard "sensitive poet" image.

Back to "sulky" and "boudoir," in response to David's comment, I believe over time "sulky" ("sulk" the verb is a back formation) added sullenness to the original sense of idleness. See Etymoline at (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sulky) A bedroom of either sex is a place of idleness. (Sometimes!) In At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Bill Bryson describes how the bedroom partitioned private space from public space of the great hall where everyone ate, slept, wept, and generally carried on. A bedroom must have been a welcome place to retreat into idleness from the commotion of the great hall. I gather from the origin of the word "boudoir" by the eighteenth century in France women had acquired a bedroom of their own. It seems this private feminine space became associated with ladies retreating in a pout to sulk. If men wanted to sulk, they probably had to cross the channel to find an English growlery.
Last edited by MTC on Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby misterdoe » Tue Jan 22, 2013 4:35 pm

MTC wrote:"As snug as a bug in a rug," the cutesy saying goes.


When I hear that saying, it reminds me of a favorite song of mine from the 80s, Over Like a Fat Rat, which shuffles the expression around a bit in the chorus:

We'll get over like a fat rat,
Peas in a pod, bugs in a rug, we'll never stop,
We'll get over like a fat rat,
Snug as a hug in your arms...
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Re: SNUGGERY

Postby Philip Hudson » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:27 pm

Fat Rat? I'm glad I slept through the 80s and thus never heard this song.
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