Great Big Baby Dog Woodrow, Old Lady Dog Callie, and I were lying on our bellies looking out my attic-bedroom window at 6:15 this morning. Snuggling in bed with your dogs looking out the window together in the early morning is one of the great pleasures of life. I commend it to you.
While we were gazing at the ice-covered woods, the dogs began throwing a hissy-fit. If you are not from the American south, you may not know that a hissy-fit is a tantrum.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines hissy-fit as a sudden period of uncontrolled and silly anger like a child’s. I do not think people from Cambridge throw hissy-fits.
In addition, one does not HAVE a hissy-fit. One THROWS a hissy-fit. I do not know why.
Perhaps it’s because throw is a strong verb. A good hissy-fit is always thrown. Most recently I threw a hissy-fit when I dropped my phone in the bath.
But back to the dogs’ hissy-fit. They threw it because Young Red Fox was lickety-splitting down the cart path.
The Oxford Dictionary defines lickety-split thus: as quickly as possible. OD says lickety-split is an adverb, but I prefer it as a verb. I know the word more intimately than the writers of OD do because I’ve been lickety-splitting all my life, and I doubt that anyone who ever worked on the Oxford Dictionary has ever lickety-splitted. I can’t imagine a wizened don sitting in a dusty library telling another wizened don, “I need a definition of perspicacious lickety-split.”
Please note that I like verbing nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Lickety-splitting is a more powerful verb than running lickety-split.
Lest you wonder whether verbing is a verb, it is. Antimeria/anthimeria is the act of changing one part of speech into another, such as verbing. If you change the word, it’s a derivation. If you don’t change the word, it’s a conversion or a zero derivation.
Lest you think this essay is pointless, let me assure you that I have a point: life is too short to throw hissy-fits by annoyances lickety-splitting through our lives. Like other people’s antimeria: Yesterday I was lickety-splitting past another white-haired woman who was throwing a hissy-fit about her daughter-in-law’s use of the word cocooning, as in, “We’re staying home cocooning this weekend.”
I wanted to say, “Lady, at our age, life is too short for throwing hissy-fits.
“Instead, we should each go home and snuggle on our beds with our dogs and gaze into the snow-filled woods.”
Dogs who get hissyfied by foxes lickety-splitting by.
Hissyfied? One of my favorite antimeria is making predicate adjectives by adding fied to almost any part of speech. So I hope you have been smartified today because I taught you about antimeria/anthimeria.
And I hope you stop lickety-splitting for the rest of the day, get unhissyfied, and go snuggle with your dogs on your bed and stare out the window together. And thus be blessifed.