Beauty Everyday Life Names

Doozy (Doozie)

There is no definitive origin for the word “doozy” but there are at least three main theories, the oldest of which is that it is an adaptation of “daisy,” which was used in 18th century England as a synonym for something or someone of high caliber.

Example: “That horse is a real daisy.  She’s well worth the price!”

Other etymological sources suggest it derives form the nickname for the Dusenberg, a luxury automobile introduced in the US in the 1920s.

A third possibility is that it come from the nickname given to Italian actress Eleanor Duse, who made headlines as beautiful and talented import to the New York theater world in the 1890s.

The definition has expanded in modern parlance from indicating something or someone superior to also including something that is extraordinary in its negative qualities.

Example:  “That test was a real doozy.  I sure hope I passed.”

Everyday Life Literary

Stole My Thunder

In the early 1700s, English critic and playwright John Dennis devised a new method of simulating the sound of thunder for his play Appius and Virginia.  The play was deemed a failure and its run at the Drury Lane Theatre was cancelled but Dennis’s invention caught on and was used in other productions without his permission, prompting him to protest.  His exact words are unconfirmed but it is generally accepted that he said something to the affect of:  “They stole my thunder!”

Everyday Life


The term ‘histrionic’ developed from ‘histrion-, histrio,’ Latin for ‘actor.’ Something that is ‘histrionic’ tends to remind one of the high drama of stage and screen and is often ‘over the top’ and stagy. It especially calls to mind the theatrical form known as the ‘melodrama,’ where plot and physical action, not characterization, are emphasized. But something that is ‘histrionic’ isn’t always overdone; it might simply refer to an actor. In that sense, it becomes a synonym of ‘thespian.’

(Of course, it is also a personality disorder.)