WORD WEDNESDAY: TOUSLE

Tousle

verb (used with object), tousled, tousling.

1. to disorder or dishevel:

The wind tousled our hair.
2. to handle roughly.
noun
3. a disheveled or rumpled mass, especially of hair
4. a disordered, disheveled, or tangled condition
(definition from dictionary.com)

Hasn’t everyone heard of this word?  Especially when used to say something like, “He tousled her hair?”  Well, apparently not everyone has heard of this word!

One of my beta readers, a very educated reader by the way, circled this on my manuscript and asked, “Is this even a word?”  I laughed out loud, and then I was like, “Wait, did I spell it wrong or something?”  But no.  I had spelled it correctly, and used it correctly.  Too funny though that someone asked if it was even a word!  So, if anyone else out there wondered what tousled meant — now you know!

In fact, I like this word so much over the years, that I used it THREE times! in my novel Love, Texas — Population 2, but I didn’t realize it until just now when I did a search for it in my Word document.  I also always used it to refer to hair.  Jesh!

Instance #1: (Heroine Rebekah Stone talking about hero Joel Foster)

I checked out Joel as he tried to start the car.

With his tousled wet hair, I found him even more attractive than before.  Sitting close to him, the pleasing scent of Coast soap floated in the space between us.

Instance #2: (Rebekah talking TO Joel in another chapter)

“Yes, I missed you.”  I tousled his hair and squeezed his hand.

Instance #3: (Joel talking to Rebekah in yet another chapter)

“What are you grinning about?”  Joel reaches over to tousle my hair.  “My unshaven face?  My belly full of home-cooking?”

Man!  Guess I failed to use my AutoCrit on these chapters or something!  Actually, I usually just use AutoCrit a chapter at a time, instead of the whole manuscript at a time.  Maybe my next novel I will use the whole manuscript review at a time! (See this past Monday’s blog post about editing for more about AutoCrit.)

Word Wednesday is sharing my love of words with you!  I like to build my vocabulary by doing things such as: subscribing to receive a daily text from the Dictionary.com app; flipping randomly through my physical Webster’s dictionary; or playing Words With Friends on my cell phone.

Each Wednesday I’ll post a word that either I had to look up its definition when I first came across it, or I simply like the way the word sounds or its meaning!   Some related items I may post each Wednesday might be: a picture that represents Wednesday’s word; a scene or character from my book that illustrates the meaning of the word; or a quote from my novel that contains that word.

Photo Credit: unsplash.com from George Bohunicky 118985

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