I discovered a new word this morning! Dégringolade, which is a rapid decline or deterioration (as in strength, position, or condition)
I was searching for a synonym for dropped or tumbled, something more spectacular to describe the descent of twirling, sparkling snowflakes, when I found this word. Thought I’d share it with you word lovers, though I doubt it will ever make anyone’s most-frequently used word list.
To me dégringolade sounds half Spanish-half French. According to M-W this noun is derived from the French verb dégringoler (“to tumble down”) … from the Middle French desgringueler. Gringueler being a twist from the Middle Dutch crinkelen, to make curl. Origin of Kriss Kringle?
According to M-W, dégringolade tends to be applied to more metaphorical situations – a rapid fall from a higher position in society, for example. These days, dégringolade is fairly rare in American English. We rely far more heavily on its familiar synonym downfall.
The example sentence struck a chord with me:
“…the sad dégringolade of the holiday from a solemn day of remembrance to just another excuse to go shopping.”
I’m guessing this quote refers to the US Armistice Day – has it become a big SALE day in the States? This could also apply to the drop from the Thanksgiving “counting blessings” to Black Friday sales.
“Black Friday” is a new thing here in Canada – like in the last 25 years – and the idea hasn’t gone over that well. Now it appears that Canadian merchants are distancing themselves from the actual US Black Friday. Last Friday I opened e-mails from both Fabricland and Michael’s, announcing that This is Black Friday. Well, okay. I’m missing it.
But the last half of November seems to be one long sale. I see that:
Fabricland’s Black Friday Weekend is from Nov 18 – 21.
Michael’s B.F. Sale is Nov 18 – 27th. And it’s all Christmas stuff!
Staples B.F. Sale is Nov 16 – 24th.
Samsung is offering a B.F. Promo Period Nov 9 – Dec 1st
Searching for shoes online, I see that Quarks B.F. Sale is Nov 14 – 23rd
Home Depot is really generous. B.F. Sale is Nov 17 – Dec 7th
Rona’s B.F. Sale is Nov 17 – 23
Chapters is slow; their B.F. Sale only starts Nov 24th
And now as US Black Friday approaches, American companies like Corel are kicking in with their sales mail. My Heritage is offering DNA test kits for $52 as their B.F. promo.
This is the economic climate we live in. Everyone wants a bargain, so spectacular sales have become the order of the day. I just wish we could give them upbeat names. Why not a BRIGHT MONDAY, GOLDEN WEDNESDAY, or FELICITOUS FRIDAY?
Ragtag Daily Prompt: SPECTACULAR