Today’s Word of the day at Dictionary.com is Messan.
Its definition from the Dictionary of the Scots Language states that a messan is…
1. A small pet dog or house dog, as opposed to a dog used for some form of work, a lap-dog
2. (a word) used contemptuously: a mongrel, a cur
3. A term of contempt applied to human adults signifying lack of stature or dignity; or to a child.
Dictionary.com tells us that, The English noun messan “small dog, lap dog” comes from Scots Gaelic measan “small dog,” cognate with Irish Gaelic measán, both of which are diminutives of Gaelic mess “favored (one).” Messan entered English in the late 15th century.
It’s not a word that is used often, and I couldn’t find a lot of additional info online. It is a timely word, nonetheless, for today’s celebration of Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Earth Dog. Happy New Year!
I also learned that messan is a valid Scrabble word, so if you are a game board enthusiast, keep this one in your brain vault of useful words. According to Merriam-Webster 59 playable words can be unscrambled from this gem that has a letter value of 8 points.
Of course, before I close I must admit that I have a few messans of my very own, though they do not fit the physical description as defined. Still, they think they are messans and I have a few bruises to show for it! I was able to find an obscure dictionary reference (Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia: Including Atlas of the World …, Volume 5) that actually mentioned ‘mastiffs’ in the definition. So perhaps there is an instinctual reason why my big lugs find my lap so appealing!
Have a great weekend! 😊
messan-dogs find laps
their favorite place to be
that’s a lot of love