Word of the Day: Waggish
Waggish (adjective) WAG-ish
1 : resembling or characteristic of a wag : displaying good-humored mischief
2 : done or made for sport : humorous
“A warm person who enjoys banter with often-waggish reporters, [Elizabeth] Brenner joked that her next move would be to take a newspaper-carrier route in Pewaukee. ‘No, that’s not what I’m going to do,’ she quickly added. ‘Can’t get up that early.'” — Rick Romell, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2016
“The waggish reaction to Guaranteed Rate’s name and arrow logo is like the feedback Energy Solutions received when its name replaced that of Delta Air Lines on the Utah Jazz’s arena a decade ago. Energy Solutions’ business—disposing of low-level nuclear waste in the Utah desert—led to people calling the arena the Dump, the Isotope and Radium Stadium.” — Richard Sandomir, The New York Times, 25 Aug. 2016
Did You Know?
One who is waggish acts like a wag. What, then, is a wag? Etymologists think wagprobably came from waghalter, a word that was once used for a gallows bird (that is, a person who was going to be, or deserved to be, hanged). Waghalter was apparently shortened to wag and used jokingly or affectionately for mischievous pranksters or youths. Hence a wag is a joker, and waggery is merriment or practical joking. Waggish can describe the prank itself as well as the prankster type; the class clown might be said to have a “waggish disposition” or be prone to “waggish antics.”
About the only thing that comes to mind regarding this word is a cat my family had when I was a youngster. The cat’s name was ‘Mischief’ and it was certainly a waggish creature. I remember once when it bought a snake into the house and presented it to my mother as a gift. Mom, of course, did not see it that way. But she was cool. She looked down at the cat and then looked over at our dog and said, “Lady, take care of that.”
Lady, a beautiful border collie, did take care of it. First, she went over and picked up the snake and took it outside. Upon her return, she found Mischief and proceeded to beat the shit out of her, reinforcing the rule, “Never, ever, do that again.” Mischief never did.
I still smile to this day when I think about the incident.
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