Word Wednesday 5th edition

The cover combines elements of the book

Another Word Wednesday is upon us, and this time my problem is picking which word I want to do – I had 3 words lined up and then I read Alexander McCall Smith’s book The Sunday Philosophy Club and I picked up 5 or 6 new words whilst reading. I am always pleasantly surprised when a book in a new series not only gives me great entertainment but also challenges my vocabulary.  I’ve put sticky notes in the book for when I come around to needing more fodder for this feature. I’m also going to review the book on here at some point because it wasn’t what I expected, and yet it was more than I expected. 

Plus the book cover looks really cool.

The cover combines elements of the book
The cover combines elements of the book

The best thing about a novel set in Edinburgh is that you can imagine the characters speaking in a lovely Scottish accent. In fact I haven’t stopped thinking in a Scottish accent since I finished the book. Today’s Word Wednesday word sounds really awesome with a Scottish accent. In fact I can hear the main character, Isabel Dalhousie saying the word. So without further perendination on my part, today’s word is behoove. It behooves  met to note that it is appropriate that I picked a word that is Old English in its origins instead of Latin or Greek.


Behoove comes from the Old English word behoof which means use, advantage, or benefit. Behoof is one of those wonderful Old English words that comes from stealing bits and pieces of other languages – in this case Dutch, Middle High German, and German. The origins are as follows: Dutch behoef, Middle High German bihuof “useful thing,” German Behuf “advantage, or benefit”. The first known use of the word was before the year 1200, so it’s definitely Old English. I find behoove a fun word to say in either a fake (and really bad) Scottish accent or in my regular un-accented voice. I should note, that the word rhymes with move or prove and not with rove or grove as is commonly thought. It makes me feel regal to use the word, “it behooves one to wave to the Queen when one is in London”.  I’m going to try and insinuate behoove into my everyday conversations as often as possible. 

Behoove (bih-hoov) Verb (transitive and intransitive) 

i) (transitive) To be necessary, proper, or advantageous. 

ii) (intransitive) To be necessary, fit, or proper. 


By koalateagirl

Jenn Annis is a writer, editor, historian, special needs advocate, and tireless defender of the Oxford comma. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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