No, I'm not going anywhere, I just had a word epiphany.
Now, I'm nowhere close to having the vast knowledge of the original Word Nerd, but I am in love with language (which doesn't necessarily include being an amazing grammarian, FYI). I actually minored in linguistics in college. Besides that, I was a vocal performance major which required me to take quite a bit of foreign language. I took Italian, German and Latin. I tried French one semester, but had to drop, and now I don't even remember why. Anyway, I didn't learn anything beyond "Je m'appelle Lara" that semester, and consequently, my French has always been pretty sad.
But, I can still understand a great deal of it--not spoken, mind you--because it is a Latin-derived language and if a word doesn't have a similarity to Latin itself, it is likely to have a similarity to Italian or Romanian. (Oh yeah, I speak Romanian fluently because of my LDS mission.)
Lately, I've had an Agatha Christie obsession, as all who are my GoodReads friends know. More specifically, I've had an obsession with her books that feature the adorable little Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. The thing about Monsieur Poirot, is that he speaks French. A lot of French. And Agatha Christie never bothers to translate it for us, so you either have to figure it out from context or actually know French.
So, like I said, I can read French okay. Nothing great, but I can get a very good sense of what is being said, and get the rest from context. So, that's cool. The other problem I have with French is pronunciation, and I'm sure many will understand this particular conundrum. I've sung in French enough to do it okay, but it doesn't come so easily to me. Not like German and Italian, which are much more straightforward.
So I've been using the opportunity to try and improve my French diction. Joel makes fun of me, sitting in the corner, reading my murder mystery and muttering French phrases to myself. I suppose it is a bit strange, but whatever.
Last night, while I was reading, I came upon the phrase a tout a l'heure. I hadn't ever seen that before, and I quickly figured out it means "see you soon." But as I said it aloud several times, I got really excited.
It sounds just like Toodle Loo!!
So, nerdy person that I am, I ran to the computer and Googled to confirm my suspicions. And there it was. That's why we say Toodle Loo. (Probably no surprise to all of you Francophiles and Word Nerds out there.) It isn't nonsensical after all, but then, language rarely is.
And that's why I love it so much.