From time-to-time I have used the word bumfuzzled with our grandchildren in a humorous way assuming it was a colloquialism and not a real word. It is just one of those words you throw out there in conversation that you know is not real, but that everyone knows you are talking about confusion or being mystified. But what does it really mean in the world of Webster’s, and is it a real word?
As it turns out bumfuzzled is an adjective, a word real and has apparently been in use since 1873. Webster’s best guess is that it is derived from the words dumfoozled, befuddle, dumbfound, and/or fuddle. This would make sense because if you used any of those words, or bumfuzzled, they seem to all mean about the same thing, “confused.”
I was in the local coffeehouse last week and heard someone order an expresso. This is not uncommon in the modern-day coffeehouse world and what people want is coffee created by forcing hot water through finely ground roasted coffee beans.
Now this would be fine except that there is no word “expresso.” The correct word is “espresso.” No “X” needed, but for some reason people seem to have mistaken the pronunciation of the word even though it is posted clearly on some board for all to see.
To be fair, Webster’s does recognize “expresso” as a less common variant of “espresso,” but we think that is because someone at the Webster’s web site probably got it wrong and has been ordering an “expresso” by mistake. In our woke culture is seems that even Webster’s has to bend to the crowd and acknowledge bad spelling.