Monthly Archives: May 2020

Dauntless (adjective)


  1. Incapable of being intimidated or subdued: fearless, undaunted

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 20 January 2020)

Use it in a sentence

The boy threw another stone at the yapping dog next door, trying to make him stop, but knowing the neighbour would come charging out any minute. On cue, the back door was flung open and he saw his neighbour’s face. It was contorted in anger, rage. Even at a distance, the boy could see the veins, sea blue, throbbing at his temple, in his forearms, fists clenched.

Perhaps he’d gone too far. But he wanted, needed, that dog to stop barking.

‘Hey!’ Sharp. Voice deep. The neighbour came striding over to glare at him over the low fence. ‘What the fuck are you doing, kid? Why are you pelting stones at my dog?’ He pointed to the long-haired mutt who stared dolefully at him. Silent. Maybe guilty. He’d stopped barking the minute the door opened.

The boy was dauntless in the way that only 10-year-old boys could be. ‘He barks too much.’

The neighbour eyeballed him. ‘He bloody well does not. And even if he did, you can’t just throw stones at him’.

‘The barking makes my mum cry.’


‘Mum’s sick. The barking makes her cry.’

The neighbours face suddenly softened, and he unclenched his fists. In a slightly less gruff voice, he asked, ‘What’s wrong with her?’

The boy didn’t answer.

The neighbour lingered for a moment. ‘Listen, sorry about your mum. But,’ he said, jabbing a finger at the boy, ‘stop throwing stones.’ He turned and whistled sharply for the dog who went bounding inside after him.

The boy turned to go inside too, satisfied.

Dragoon (verb)


  1. to subjugate or persecute by harsh use of troops
  2. to force into submission or compliance especially by violent measures

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 7 January 2020)

Use it in a sentence

The bride-to-be, Tabitha, whooped as she held up her champagne flute, screamed again, louder still, and then sculled her drink. Her hot pink, strapless dress had crept a little too far south and one of her three bridesmaids made an effort to hug her affectionately and hoist it up a little without her noticing. Tabitha was a little volatile. It was wiser for them to just laugh along in mock hysteria and encourage her to cut loose on the dance floor, whilst keeping a careful eye on her cleavage. Her bridesmaids had been dragooned into this sham of a Hen’s night. None of them felt like being festive or congratulative. They exchanged looks, sipped their vodka, lime and sodas and, waited for Tabitha to burn herself out.

The truth was that none of them particularly liked the groom-to-be. The Stag. Capital ‘S’. Because he had an ego like antlers and he often thrashed them about, trying to start fights. The bridesmaids sighed. They had bickered among themselves, about whether to say something or leave it. Tabitha knew, or at least sensed, that they didn’t like him, but said nothing in his defence.

By the end of the night though, none of them had to say anything. Propped up against the bar in the last place open at 4am, they crossed paths with the stag party. And there was the groom-to-be, pashing a skinny redhead like his life depended on it. Tabitha froze for a moment. When he slid a hand up the girl’s thigh she let out an almighty scream, and hurled her purse at him. She followed the purse with a glass of wine snatched off a table. She picked up a bottle too but her posse stepped in, wrestled the bottle from her hand and gently pulled her away from the scene. They shook their heads at each other but frankly they were all rather pleased.

And like that, the wedding was off. 

Neoteric (adjective)


  1. Recent in origin: modern.

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 20 May 2020)

Use it in a sentence

The new curator thought to herself, ‘This little museum is a sad and pathetic abomination. It’s a fusty, decrepit collection of crap that nobody cares about.’ There was no context, no connection. The exhibits were all static – there was nothing interactive. Those who wandered in looked as if they had done so entirely by accident, as though they’d taken a wrong turn and were not at all pleased about it. She watched them, saw them screw up their noses and look at each other in consternation. They shuffled up to each object reluctantly, peered at the information card and frowned. Some laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all, elbowing each other and then racing for the exit. No one bought the magnets or the novelty pencil toppers. The museum was in desperate need of a wholistic and neoteric overhaul, a totally new approach. She nodded thoughtfully, ‘I’ve got this. I’ve got ideas. I’m going to make this the best damn toilet museum South of the Equator.’ And she rolled up her sleeves and got to work.