In case you are wondering, "D" is my husband -- Dave Liu! As you've probably noticed, I don't update this blog often but I may post more as I've linked this to my Google+ account.

Friday, November 23, 2007

jerkwater: M-W's Word of the Day

I'm excited about this word because prior to learning about it, the only alternative I could think of is quite rude and should not be used in polite company. I found this from's Word of the Day.

jerkwater \JERK-waw-ter\ adjective
  • Remote and unimportant
  • Trivial

Example sentence: "We're stranded in some jerkwater town in the middle of nowhere," said Larry when he called to tell us that the car's engine had blown.

Did you know? We owe the colorful Americanism "jerkwater" to the invention of the steam engine -- an advancement that significantly accelerated travel by rail but also had its drawbacks. One drawback was that the boilers of the early locomotives needed to be refilled with water frequently, and water tanks were few and far between. As a result, the small trains that ran on rural branch lines often had to stop to take on water from local supplies. Such trains were commonly called "jerkwaters" from the motion of jerking the water up in buckets from the supply to the engine. The derogatory use of "jerkwater" for things unimportant or trivial reflects the fact that these jerkwater trains typically ran on lines connecting small middle-of-nowhere towns.

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