Back in 2006, the Good Doctor said that "bricolage" would make a good word of the day as it is a word with an interesting story (origin myth?). But it hasn't run yet. According to Merriam Webster the first known use of bricolage is 1960 and it denotes a
"construction (as of a sculpture or a structure of ideas) achieved by using whatever comes to hand; also : something constructed in this way"
And Merriam Webster provides the following origin
"According to French social anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, the artist "shapes the beautiful and useful out of the dump heap of human life." Lévi-Strauss compared this artistic process to the work of a handyman who solves technical or mechanical problems with whatever materials are available. He referred to that process of making do as bricolage, a term derived from the French verb bricoler (meaning "to putter about") and related to bricoleur, the French name for a jack-of-all-trades. Bricolage made its way from French to English during the 1960s, and it is now used for everything from the creative uses of leftovers ("culinary bricolage") to the cobbling together of disparate computer parts ("technical bricolage")."
Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
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- Dr. Goodword
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I'm not sure what I was thinking of, perhaps a relationship with brick. Anyway, no one seems to have any idea how the word came to be in French. However, I will use your discussion of its recent history.
• The Good Dr. Goodword
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