• Carmen Milligan

Wednesday Word: Tete-a-tete


[ˌtādəˈtāt, ˌtedəˈtet]


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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