Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Word of the Day


gooseberry [ˈgʊzbərɪ -brɪ]n pl -ries
1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) a Eurasian shrub, Ribes uva-crispa (or R. grossularia), having greenish, purple-tinged flowers and ovoid yellow-green or red-purple berries: family Grossulariaceae See also currant [2]
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants)
a. the berry of this plant
b. (as modifier) gooseberry jam
3. Brit informal an unwanted single person in a group of couples, esp a third person with a couple (often in the phrase play gooseberry)

'...she was in a nasty temper by the time they reached Braintree, and when the doctor drew up outside the White Hart with the obvious intention of stopping for dinner, and since she had no intention of playing gooseberry, she closed her eyes with commendable speed...'--Magic of Living

Poor gooseberries. The most common description of a gooseberry is that of a sour grape. If my allotted role in life was that of a chaperon, I'd be sour too...