Word of the Day

Thursday, March 13, 2003


\TECH-ee\ , adjective;
Peevish; testy; irritable.
Waugh's tetchy and combative personality made him a difficult companion at arms.
-- Penelope Lively, "A Maverick Historian", The Atlantic, February 2001
Wright was in Tokyo, busy with the Imperial Hotel, firing off telegrams blaming his son, Lloyd, and Schindler for nagging cost overruns that Barnsdall, always tetchy about parting with money, was balking at.
-- Greg Goldin, "Light Houses", Los Angeles Magazine, February 2001
His every word was pure gold then, and even the chairman, who is not known to hide his light under a bushel, got a little tetchy being asked to opine on every economic subject known to man.
-- Jamie Dettmer, "Greenspan Doesn't Always Get It Right", Insight on the News, February 26, 2001
As prams trundle and toddlers bawl, bargain-hunters try to shove, grab and kick their way to consumerist nirvana, while their spouses, weighed down by bulging bags, get seriously tetchy.
-- Kim Gilmour, "Hello, good buy", Internet Magazine, November 2001
Tetchy probably comes from Middle English tecche, "a bad habit," from Old French tache, teche, "a spot, stain, blemish, habit, vice."
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