One of Decca’s favourite words. In a 1977 essay in the London Daily Mail (reprinted in the New York Times and later in Poison Penmanship), she wrote that “frenemy” (which she sometimes spelled “frienemy”) was “an incredibly useful word that should be in every dictionary, coined by one of my sisters when she was a small child to describe a rather dull little girl who lived near us.” Her sister and the neighbor girl, she said, were “inseparable companions,all the time disliking each other heartily.”
– From a footnote to an August 1971 letter in Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
Jessica Mitford got her wish about “frenemy” appearing in dictionaries. Trailblazers, those Mitfords.
Apologies if this blog is becoming a Mitford read-along. This book is massive, and my Christmas holidays so far consist of nothing but reading it, playing the new Dragon Age game, and a bit of writing here and there. So it’s either interesting Mitford facts, or a blow-by-blow of the latest war between the templars and mages.
If I don’t post here before Christmas – I hope everyone has a fun and restful holiday filled with great food!
2 thoughts on “A 1971 frenemy”
Have a great holiday season too! I think the latest Dragon Age will be under the tree for me, so we can exchange the latest from the war front in a bit ;)
Ooh, I hope it is under your tree! I’m enjoying it so far, and I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Also, you should learn how to play the “theme song” – it’s lovely, and to my untrained ear it sounds like it might be violin! :)