'First laddie' -- no, I won't spoil the word

'First laddie' -- no, I won't spoil the word
Source: pdclipart.org

After I’d seen and heard others referring to Bill Clinton as the potential “first laddie,” just talking about the term with family and friends wasn’t enough.  (But then again, that’s why this blog is about words and languages.)

I looked up “laddie” in my copy of “The Concise Scots Dictionary” (Crescent Books, originally published in 1911; my edition, 1988). The definition of laddie is: noun) “a boy; a term of affection for a boy or youth; a male sweetheart.”

That’s a word worth defending, especially on “this side of the pond” (i.e., the Atlantic Ocean). “Affection” and “sweetheart” are loaded words when it comes to Bill Clinton. Our national memory isn’t very long sometimes, but I think we need to consider the idea of Bill Clinton being back in the White House — this time with nothing official to do.

So if he does get there, what would we call him?

“First gentleman” would be the equally respectful term to “first lady.” But can anyone who remembers the impeachment scandal consider calling Bill Clinton any sort of gentleman?

If I must do so, I will settle for calling him “first spouse.”

I’m not going to spoil the word “laddie.”


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  • As I suspected from his origin in the mountain south, William Jefferson Blythe III seems to be of Scottish heritage, this site says "he is related to every Scottish monarch to the current British royal family. " So you might have waded into more than you thought, but the Rothschild business seems bull.

    Strange, though, that all recent presidents, including "O'bama" seem related to Princess Di. I can see Clinton in a kilt.

  • Jack, I have never seen that site -- or its "facts" -- before. With all due respect, don't believe everything you read.
    I have waded in to defend a word (again), and if the Blythe family's roots are as this seems, I think Bill should have been defending it, too.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    But he still hasn't figured out what "is" is. Not sure that he is a lexicographer or linguist.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you for remembering that, Jack. I don't think he's either a lexicographer or a linguist!

  • Question: Since "words worth defending" is essentially proper or preferred diction, is there a word for "an expert in diction?"

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for a very good question. At the moment, I can't think of anything better than "elocutionist," but I will post results of looking around if something better does appear.

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