Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Death and Verbs

So the masculine of widow is widower, right? So if a man can kick the bucket and widow his wife, then shouldn’t a woman be able to die and widower her husband? Apparently not. The verb for both occasions is widow, regardless of gender. It’s probably for the best, since widowering is way awkward to say. (“I’m sorry, I can’t talk on the phone right now. I’m in the process of widowering my husband.”) This is good to know — when my friends’ spouses all start dying, I want to not offend them by using the wrong verb.


  1. Hi there, I've been enjoying your blog for quite a while, especially all the video game related word entries.

    Anyways, I was watching TV the other day and a Burger King commercial came on, though I can't find this particular one online. I didn't think much of it the first time. The second time I caught it, I noticed the actress featured in it is non-other than Twin Peaks' Lucy.

    I suspect the creator of the Burger King (the character) casted her as homage to Lynch, as he as he has often put some unsettling close ups of faces in his works, and the Burger King definitely is working the creepy-dude angle.

    No one I know in real life would have a clue what I am talking about, so I thought posting here would be the best way to tell someone about this amazing find.

  2. I've seen this actress, Kimmy Robertson, in a few commercials lately. Most of them are food-related, but yeah, I also noticed her in these ads, which are, as you say, strange.

    Funny tidbit: There's an actor in the ads, Jack Plotnick, who I once interviewed.


  3. I just watched a small clip of Sleepless in Seattle and Meg Ryan asked the same question about the verb form of widow. I guess you're not the first person to think about it (although I'll always think of this blog when the question arises).

  4. You know, though I think I could fairly accurately summarize that movie, I don't think I've ever seen it. So I guess I think like Nora Ephron. Which is not something I'm exactly happy about.