A Word That Doesn’t Matter

 I read a lot, and occasionally a word will jump off the page, smacking me good across my cheek.

Bagatelle, is the latest.

A noun that means, a thing of little importance.  A throwaway occurrence or set of circumstances…in other words, something not to lose sleep over.

It also describes, an easy task, a light piece of music, and a small game you play on a sloping board.

But we’re interested in the first meaning…an event of insignificance.

I’ve never heard bagatelle used in conversation, though it keeps coming up in prose and will admit, looks pretty awesome on the printed page.

It’s nice looking, the way it’s spelled using three, plain, ordinary words.  Bag-a-tell/e, one could say, describes itself, to a T.

Shelia said to Amy, as they walked down Fifth, “You get so upset over nothing.  It’s a mere bagatelle to cast off, like lint, on your cashmere.  She means nothing…a blowjob in back of a limo en route to the airport.”

Yes, I too occasionally need a little fluff to divert and distract.  Like Bono says, whatever gets you through the night.

But back to the English language that rarely bores nor disappoints.

I made a list of my own bagatelles.  All the irks and miffs that rile and rankle, and just plain drive me crazy.

They didn’t call, she’s late, he didn’t say hello.

What’s that? How rude. Don’t expect to see me again.

Minutia, ephemera, those Micky Mouse, minor details weighing us down, wasting our time.

Nonessentials…trifles…the inconsequential trivialities that spring up like a sudden rash.

Hogwash, hokum, hooey and phooey.  Twaddle, tommyrot, picayune, penny-ante poop…the small potatoes of life having no meaning nor staying power.

I’m thinking after my morning shower, before leaving the house, to make sure all bagatelles, as pretty as they may preen, are all placed in the shredder where they belong.

We’ll call it, traveling emotionally light.

Language, a force unto itself.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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25 Responses to A Word That Doesn’t Matter

  1. Ross de Marco says:

    Bagatelle – there was a band in Ireland years back and they had a huge hit record called Summer in Dublin . That was my introduction to the word , though it sounded to me like a type of macaroni !” I’ll have some bagatelle al dente’ but like yourself after hearing this band I scurried off to the nearest dictionary to look it up . . It also reminded my iof a phrase Ralph Kramden used ” a mere bag of shells ” . Ps Whatever gets you through the night John Lennon and Elton John , not sure who came up with the lyric .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. skinnyuz2b says:

    Great word, Susannah. Sounds more like something I’d buy at a bakery, ha ha!
    Thanks for reminding me not to sweat the small stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Traveling light emotionally is hard. Sounds really simple but it isn’t. Too much bagatelle shit hanging around. It does sound like a pasta, doesn’t it? Make mine with marinara.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That one rolls right off the tongue. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was very impressed with all the little-used words you exercised in this post. It gave my brain a healthy workout.


  6. I’m glad you love words as much as I do. 🙂 This is one of those words I’ve heard off and on but didn’t really know the meaning of. It seems like such a bready word to me, halfway between a bagel and a baguette. 🙂


  7. micklively says:

    I think it may still be used, albeit infrequently, on this side of the pond. I like to roll it out as flattery and/or persuasion, when I’m trying to inveigle action from another: “a mere bagatelle for a woman of your calibre”. 😉


  8. Somehow this word makes not sweating the small stuff so much better. Letting go of emotional baggage is a big deal, to me anyway. Describing it as “small stuff” doesn’t explain the power it holds for us, but when using bagatelles, I picture a set of emotional luggage sporting a Gucci label, which would be easier said than done to kick to the curb. Now, off to write my list of bagatelles.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Language is wonderful – what would we talk about without it?

    Liked by 1 person

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