26 December, 2013

Sir Pesterful

I can be 'difficult,' or so I have been told. My mother tells me I never took 'no' for an answer; I would iterate and reiterate my request until someone gave in. She also tells me that I knew how to do just enough to get a rise out of my older brother. I was an expert at it.

That's important, that 'just enough.' It reminds me of an important distinction between someone who is genuinely difficult and someone like me :) who simply pesters. Pester is a much softer word and, in my mind, conveys at least a modicum of playfulness.

So when told I'm difficult, my first thought is 'no, I'm not - I'm ... I'm ... I'm pesterful.' Yeah, that's it. I know what you're thinking - that's not a word. Well, it is now. It's one of the reasons I so love language (See: Through the Looking Glass and Poetically Syllabic). It's infinite and creative, and it's playful - or can be.

Anyway ... as soon as I thought of 'pesterful,' the game was afoot. If I were proper about it, I am Sir Pesterful. A extended period of pestering - a pesterfest, of course. If I were really good at it, I am the Pestermeister. Perhaps with a pocket full of pester. A wealth of that ability would be known as pesterpower. Too many doing it - a clusterpester. Just the right number - a pesterparty. If you're a favorite target - a pesterpawn. If you like it, you might give me a pestergiggle or think I'm pesterlicious. And then of course, there is the ├╝berpester.

Pester - it's a great word, and if you're not yet pesterfried, I should point out it's probably related to pastor. There's a French word (impestrer) that means 'constrain' and comes from the Latin 'impastoriare.' Ultimately we get to 'pastoria' meaning a 'hobble' which is a way of controlling a group of animals. Or people. So it can also mean 'herdsman' - pastorius.

Who knew? Pester and pastor - we could have fun with that connection.