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Press: Basil McBride's Word of the Week

Updated: Mar 3

There is a pluripotency to the word “press” – it can mean a lot of things. You can press down on something; press it in a certain direction; press your blouse or shirt; you can bench press; you can even press at golf. There’s also the printing press, the news covered by the press, and Luain Press.

But the one that’s got my knickers in a twist is the Scottish/Irish term for a large cupboard. It’s less of a press than a pull, no? Now, you might say, “Yes, Basil, you must pull it open, but what of closing it? Do you not press it closed?” – I hear you, but a long life of observation and rumination has led me to the belief that one “pushes” it closed as opposed to “presses” it closed.

Musing on such a topic has brought forth in me a seriously repressed pedantism. One example is my issue with the word “nightmare” – an absurd term. Most so-called “nightmares” occur in the morning. If they happen before midnight, then fair enough, nightmare it is – but anything after midnight and they should be referred to as “morning stallions” – I feel very strongly about this.

I feel so strongly, in fact, that I’m thinking of starting a petition to have the word changed. Keep an eye out for that in the coming days. I would like to send my regards to soyavacado for suggesting the word. Keep her lit.


B. McBride

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