It’s Not a Word – Yet.


lacking precision but compensating in charm; 
messy but cute.
~ ~ ~

"I am a lover of messy people; 
a tarbled mom of two teenage boys who are likely late to school and wearing mismatched socks; 
I have been known to absent-mindedly doodle in the margins of overdue library books; 
I have battled depression and anxiety to degrees that have nearly drowned me; 
I have begged the Lord for miracles that only He could provide;
and somewhere in the midst of all of that,
I feel hopelessly in love with the Word of God as a light to my next step 
and the air for my next breath."
~ ~ ~

I used the word Tarbled in my book announcement, and I got several replies: “And now I’m off to look up the word ‘tarbled!'”

You won’t find it. It’s not a word.  But I’ve used it in every book I’ve written.

My darling college roommate made up this word when she walked across campus in the wind. She looked in the mirror and declared herself tarbled. And ever since, we’ve been collectively and casually weaving this word into conversations, dialogues, monologues, and book manuscripts, all in an effort to get the attention of the Merriam-Websters of the world.

In the meantime, I answer texts like this one:
It’s not a real word – yet. But I’ve been trying for twenty years to make it one.

Feel free to join the movement.

Joey Tribbiani says if you use a word three times, you’ve made it yours.
Surely we’re getting close.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. Tricia, I’m sad to say I haven’t been able to feel the same delight for your posts since you wrote about your admiration for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. How can I feel close to or respect someone who admires a woman responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent babies for any reason throughout all 9 months of pregnancy? You’ve carried babies in your womb. You know they are fully human, fully alive, have beating hearts before a woman knows she is pregnant. I wrote the biography of one of them, born alive in an abortion clinic during a late-term abortion that left her with cerebral palsy she has lived with for 43 years as a result. GIANNA: Aborted and Lived to Tell About It. Their blood is crying out to us from the ground. How can you support even one of their executioners?

  2. Tricia — always the creative one. I remember your student teaching classroom was always full of creative “things”. Those days are behind us —- but you are still the creative one. I have enjoyed your books and your blog. You are amazing — were amazing — still amazing. Hope all is well with you. “Those were the days!!”

    Jerri Saltz, October 21, 5:10 pm

  3. Once it is included in the dictionary, we should petition to have your pic and the caption, tarbled, on a stamp…a tarbled forever stamp!

  4. It’s so fetch!

  5. Tarbled…., Tricia I love it. It will definitely become part of my vocabulary! My book club is reading your book, And Life Comes Back. I will address them as a tarbled group of ladies! They’ll appreciate it cause they’re definitely a messy, charming and ‘mature’ cute group of women!

  6. Messy but cute —- well that is perfect! and I have to compensate with charm on a daily basis it seems! Let us start a Tarbled Club! I will be the first to join. I will be using this wonderful word from now on and look forward to it’s debut in the Webster’s Dictionary!

  7. If Shakespeare can add thousands of words to the English language (or so the legend goes), why can’t you, or anyone else? Maybe the dictionaryists (another newly coined word) think they’ve cornered the market, but I doubt their claim would stand up to scrutiny. They are always adding words to the dictionary that you and I and everyone else have coined as our culture changes.

    I wonder if they have a form on their websites, with which one can submit words for consideration for inclusion in the dictionary. Dr. Murray in organizing the Oxford English Dictionary asked the public for submissions, and was buried in the positive response.

    Why not?

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