Verboten (adjective)


  1. Forbidden; especially: prohibited by dictate

(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the day, 8 May 2020)

Use it in a sentence

Her family had gathered outside the window of the nursing home en masse, maintaining, as best they could, the required social distancing. Some great niece or other held up a big bunch of flowers, smiling and waving madly. No doubt someone would soon collect them, fumigate them somehow and duly deliver them. Another child with his two front teeth missing held up a giant handmade card with ‘We love you Nanna! Happy 100th!’ (capital ‘N’) scrawled across the front. One of her own children was wiping away tears, blowing kisses. Someone else had a large cake –she hoped that would make it inside unscathed.

They were all gathered to mark the occasion, along with a television camera and junior reporter, safely outside because nursing home visits were verboten.

Some tapped on the glass, as though she were some kind of animal at the zoo, others just smiled benignly and stood around, not knowing what to do. All the residents inside were clapping and ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhhing’, and one of the nurses bobbed down beside her wheelchair.

‘Well, Mavis! What do you think about that!’ Bless her, the nurse was beaming, her eyes were red and she gave Mavis a pat on the hand. Without wanting to appear rude, Mavis quietly withdrew her hand. She smiled and waved but then she turned to the nurse, ‘I’ve always hated celebrating my birthday – I’ve never had a party in my life. That lot,’ she nodded to the crowd, ‘bloody know that. I don’t even like half of them. All the good ones are already dead.’ Then she nodded and smiled again, giving the camera a cheeky wink, as the nurse got up and with a tight smile started pouring very modest plastic glasses of champagne.

‘Hip bloody hurrah’, said Mavis, skulling hers.

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