Friday, August 26, 2005

Word of the Day for Friday August 26, 2005

bagatelle \bag-uh-TEL\, noun:
1. A trifle; a thing of little or no importance.
2. A short, light musical or literary piece.
3. A game played with a cue and balls on an oblong table
having cups or arches at one end.

Don't worry about that, a mere bagatelle, old boy!
--Eric Ellis, "Error Message," [1]Time, February 10, 2000

You know how it often happens; these strifes and disputes
frequently originate from a mere bagatelle.
--Alessandro Manzoni, [2]I Promessi Sposi

Excepting the regulars, the troops were raw as were
likewise most of their officers; and this march of
twenty-seven miles, which a year later would have been
considered a bagatelle, was now a mighty undertaking.
--James Ford Rhodes, [3]History of the Civil War

So if you eat at his restaurant every day -- off the menu,
of course -- and slosh the grub down with a 1966 Chateau
Margaux (£800-£1,000 a bottle in a restaurant), even a Ritz
bill will seem a mere bagatelle.
--"Do you take cash?" [4]The Guardian, December 23, 1999

Bagatelle derives from Italian bagattella, "a trifling matter;
a bagatelle," perhaps ultimately from Latin baca, "a berry."

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