And still, after so many years living in the Netherlands, long-forgotten English words and expressions pop into my mind, unannounced. This week, it was ‘fetching’. I imagine everyone knows the verb ‘to fetch’ (go get) and the game of ‘fetch’ with a dog when it runs off to go get the ball or stick you just threw. And probably also in the sense of getting someone to fetch and carry for you, which basically means doing all the rotten jobs you don’t want to do yourself. Another name for that poor person is ‘dogsbody’ or, in a work situation, ‘general dogsbody’, later glamourised as ‘girl or boy Friday’ but the job still consisted of fetching and carrying. Then there’s ‘far-fetched’ which is what turning the job description for a dogsbody into a tropical island dweller is – unbelievable!😊
But did you know that ‘fetching’ means appealing or attractive? As in ‘you look very fetching in that hat’.
In the American comedy series ‘How I Met Your Mother’, one couple had a running private joke where if the word ‘general’ something up, they would repeat it as if addressing a high ranking army officer and salute at the same time: General Dogsbody!