What does a fidgety flibbertigibbet become with age? Not a fuddy-duddy, for sure. Would we have to fudge it a bit to imagine she might be a fussbudget?

Of course you can be a flibbertigibbet at any age, and a fussbudget too. But I think a young fussbudget is more likely than an old flibbertigibbet.

Well, whatever’s your bag. Some people make a fuss about every bug and widget. Not all fretful sorts are full-fledged fussbudgets, of course, and many a chatterbox is blithe and garrulously agreeable, but there are always the Felix Ungers of the world, fluttering fingers, noodging neighbours, futzing with widgets, fussing over dust and fuses, and budgeting down to pencil stubs.

Not that a fussbudget is someone who fusses over budgets. Budget is an old word with more meanings than just ‘a set plan or limit for spending’. It first hit the language as meaning a…

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