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Bedeck, Bedizen, and Festoon Yourself

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the patio bedecked with snow | Kansas City, KS 2013

the patio bedecked with snow | Kansas City, KS 2013

One of my jobs is to write SEO-enhanced product descriptions. So, amid the Blizzard of Oz while the snow piled up outside, I was cozied up inside pondering ways to describe summer patio furniture and lawn ornaments. Ha!

When working on these projects I often find myself stuck trying to think of different words with which to say the same thing over and over again. During one such moment, when trying to think of a fresh way to say “adorning” the word “bedeck” came to mind. I second-guessed myself: Is that even a word? What a silly looking word. But the squiggly red line didn’t appear [in Word] so it had to be “real”. I right-clicked to check its synonyms to ensure I was using it correctly.

Here is the brief word rabbit-trail I journeyed down…

be·deck (verb) origin: 1560-70

  • to deck out; adorn, especially in a showy or gaudy manner.


Wow — there are even sillier sounding synonyms:

be·di·zen (verb) origin: 1655-65

  • to dress or adorn in a showy, gaudy, or tasteless manner.


fes·toon (verb) origin: 1670-80

  • to adorn with or as with festoons


  • a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc.,
    suspended in a curve between two points.
  • a decorative representation of this,
    as in architectural work or on pottery.
  • a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals
    to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.

Culminating in this quirky discovery — apparently in dentistry, the “garland-like area” of the gums surrounding the “necks” of the teeth is known as the “festoon”. Have you ever looked at your gums and thought they looked particularly garland-like? Dentists are just interior decorators at heart, I guess.

So, today’s {word wednesday} safari is brought to you by a bedecked and bedizened snowlady who wears scarves on the necks of her festooned teeth…or something like that. Cheers to winter’s lavish adornment, which is definitely not gaudy color-wise, but might be a little overdone in its quantity!

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» Don’t miss previous {word wednesday} posts: Fillip, anyone?No Name Calling HereSaints & MilksopsDo you funk fluffles? and more…

» Learn how to make your own festoons (we’re talking crafts here, not gums) over at Gimme Some Style.


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bet mercer

Bet Mercer is a poet-photographer who writes at Gimme Some Reads and Everyday Poetry. She loves quotes, reading her favourite books over again, great conversation, laughter, trees, films, and travelling the world. Follow along with Bet on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Etsy and Google+.

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4 comments on “Bedeck, Bedizen, and Festoon Yourself”

  1. Dentists are just interior decorators at heart, I guess. ha ha ha!!!!

  2. Fun. :) Since you’re a word-lover, you might like the Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form .

    I found this post while looking for “festoon” and “encarpus”. :)

  3. Oh – and many thanks for introducing me to the dental meaning of “festoon.”