February 13, 2018
tousle (verb)
\TOWZ-ul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to put into disorder by rough handling
How do you use it?
"Don't worry. You'll do better next time," the coach said to Malcolm, as she tousled . . .
Are you a word wiz?

Whoops! We forgot to finish the sentence we're using as an example of today's Buzzword. Which of the following do you think best completes the sentence? You'll know which answer it is if you can guess what usually gets tousled.

"Tousle" is almost always used to describe something that's done to someone's hair. In its past-tense form "tousled," the word is often used as an adjective, as in "the child's tousled hair." "Tousle" has only two close relatives in English. One is "tussle," a verb meaning "to fight or struggle with (someone) by grabbing or pushing," as in "The two basketball players were tussling for the ball." The other is the rare verb "touse," which means basically the same thing as "tousle."
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