Word of the Week 1-26-2018





Idle talk; chatter


We know that our political sphere is healthy when, first, everyone who wants to be a “participant in government” can in fact have access to it; and second, when the talk that takes place there is viewed not as mere bavardage or spin, but as one of the chief and most valuable expressions of public liberty.
The Turn of the Screw (II)

Representative assemblies are often taunted by their enemies with being places of mere talk and bavardage.
Representative Government

Though bavardage accounted for much of the general knowledge of every one’s affairs, there was an uncanny mystery in the speed at which a particular secret spread.
Mystic Isles of the South Seas.

The sentimental bavardage of boys in love will be lost upon me.
Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal, No. 447 Volume 18, New Series, July 24, 1852

Philosophically speaking, this is what Kierkegaard called idle talk, snakke in Danish; what Heidegger called Gerede; what Sartre called bavardage.
The Wide Awakes

“P.S. To prevent bavardage, I prefer going in person to sending my servant with a letter.
Life of Lord Byron With His Letters And Journals


French, from bavarder to gossip, chatter (from Middle French, from bavard chatterbox, from bave slobber, from—assumed—Vulgar Latin bava) + -age


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