• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Tete-a-tete


tête-à-tête

[ˌtādəˈtāt, ˌtedəˈtet]

NOUN

a private conversation between two people.


A coworker used this with me the other day.


Let's pause for a moment to marvel AND relish in the fact that I work with someone who used this word. And! He used it correctly. Huzzah!!


Literally, "head-to-head", this is a French phrase from the late 17th century. It is also used to describe a certain sofa configuration that faces the two seated persons toward one another. Yuk.


When my coworker used it, he was asking me about my feelings about a conversation that I had had, which I confess got a tiny bit heated, with another coworker. The fact that he used this word in his inquiry quite impressed me.


And, to tie up loose threads, the tete-a-tete ended with my acquiescence. No small feat.

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