An Accursed Good Word

I’m still on my Loretta Chase keeper binge, having a wonderful time with Benedict and Bathsheba from Lord Perfect. This book has appeared at the top of more “Best Romances of All Time” lists than you can shake a stick out, and with good reason. The details of setting and period are flawless, the characters superb, and the romance… What’s the emoticon for a great, big, happy sigh?

Yes, well. If I’m noshing on a keeper, and the heroine uses the word accursed (or accurst), then I know I’m probably nose down in a Loretta Chase. This is a clever word. It lets the heroine express swearing sentiments without using profanity. OED tells us the word dates back to least the 1200s, and that it means:

That which has been cursed; lying under a curse; doomed to perdition or misery.

I love that: Doomed to perdition or misery. What heroine doesn’t find herself in need of such a word at least once every fifty pages or so?



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