My Classy Friends (as one of our dear classy friends calls us) suggested that I should start a new series here on Ye Ole Blog that explores the vocabularic ignorance that seems to plague me.
For the purposes of this series I will assume that you also, dear reader, are unfamiliar with these words. I will define the word, give you the literary context from which it came, and then suggest a way to work the syllables into the day to day conversations of a Classically Mad Mother.
Today’s word is from the first chapter, in fact the first page, of Jane Eyre.
cavillers – n. people who quibble or find fault or objection
Classic Usage: Jane’s aunt is explaining to Jane that she may not play with her cousins because the maid, Bessie, has observed that she was not a content and happy child. Jane asks, “What does Bessie say I have done?” and her aunt replies, “Jane, I don’t like cavillers or questionsers; besides . . .”
Classically Mad Usage: In order to apply this word to modern situations I doubt I will have to extend myself far from Aunt Reed’s context. One or more of my children could surely be identified as a caviller on a daily basis. Also, I greatly appreciate Aunt Reed’s use of the word “besides.”