Weekly Word: Bricolage

Unfortunately, I’m socially well-adjusted and easily understood, according to this little Vocabulary Quiz from Word Sell. One word I thought I knew was bricolage. “Oh, bricolage, I’ve heard that before! Isn’t it – no, never mind. Maybe it was – no, that’s Ricola. Argh!” I guess I’m not as much of a word nerd as I thought.

It turns out that a bricolage is “a construction made of whatever materials are at hand”.

Wikipedia’s entry on bricolage lists uses of the word in different disciplines, from postmodern art to programming. It also says this about its etymology:

It is borrowed from the French word bricolage, from the verb bricoler -- equivalent to the English "do-it-yourself", the core meaning in French being, however, "fiddle, tinker"...

I love the sound of bricolage. Even though it makes me think of Swiss alphorns, it sounds so wonderfully French! I also love the concepts behind it: DIY (do it yourself), creativity, variety, practicality, frugality… What’s not to love?