Richard Verry Word of the Day Writing

Word of the Day: titivate

Titivate with black heels and hot red thigh highsWord of the Day: titivate

Titivate (verb) TIH-tuh-vayt


: to make or become smart or spruce


“It was instantly clear, however, that she had not been idle, but busy titivating: painting her nails, washing her hair, doing her face….” — Rosamunde Pilcher, September, 1990

“I came here as a student …, but I spent more time in Cannon Hill Park two miles from the city centre. I clearly remember watching the gardeners titivate the flower beds and strolling past the lake through the many choice trees.” — Val Bourne, The Daily Telegraph (London), 21 May 2016

Did You Know?

Titivate, spruce, smarten, and spiff all mean “to make a person or thing neater or more attractive.” Titivate often refers to making small additions or alterations in attire (“titivate the costume with sequins and other accessories”), but it can also be used figuratively (as in “titivating the script for Broadway”). Spruce up is sometimes used for cosmetic changes or renovations that give the appearance of newness (“spruce up the house with new shutters and fresh paint before trying to sell it”). Smarten up and spiff up both mean to improve in appearance often by making more neat or stylish (“the tailor smartened up the suit with minor alterations”; “he needed some time to spiff himself up for the party”). The origins of titivate are uncertain, but it may have been formed from the English words tidy and renovate.

My Take

Titivating or sprucing up the makeup

Today’s word, titivate, confused me for a moment. When I read it, my mind automatically processed the word, ‘titillate,’ which is something completely different. However, I did so because I use the word frequently. In my writings, I try to titillate the reader.

Titivate, now that I learned of its existence is a term that I can and will probably add to my vernacular. Why? It’s cool. Besides, it strings together letters of one my favorite things. Can you guess?

When I researched the word, I found hundreds of images, all related to women elegantly dressed, putting on makeup, or just sprucing themselves up. I’ve included a couple of those images in this post, including a special one you will find if your share this on Twitter from this page. However, I wanted to see if I could relate it to something different.

And then it hit me. A couple of weeks ago, I test drove a 2016 Camaro 2LT RS.

2016 Camaro 2LT RS
Source: Chevrolet

OMG, what a sweet ride. I currently drive a 2014 Camaro 2LT RS. I must tell you, Chevrolet, without a doubt, spruced up this car. I intend to buy one. They upgraded the instrument package, making it even easier to read the gauges, which I found difficult in the 2014 version. Its drivetrain is improved, its road handling divine and oh, the sound from its tailpipes. Just perfect.

The long and the short, this titivated car titillates me. Yes, I’m in love.

If you share this post by clicking one of the twitter buttons, I will treat you with a sexier image related to the word. My gift to you.

mw_logoBrought to you by Merriam-Webster, Word of the Day.

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