BEING, PERHAPS, THE WORDS THAT SPAWNED A MILLION BUZZ LIGHTYEARS
adv. — at once; immediately, promptly; straightaway; right now
fm. pure, unfiltered French
first published. 1895
Pronounced “toot suite,” the adverb is simultaneously appropriated and corrupted by English. It’s persistently misspelled, while a 1917 issue of the influential humor magazine Punch coined the phrase “the tooter the sweeter,” i.e. the sooner the better. The 1968 film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang included the song “Toot Sweets” about a fantasy confection, which then became the name of a real-life candy whistle by Mattel.
Sure, it’s a stretch to link the original French to this early example of synergistic merchandising off a family film. But the guy who pitched Star Wars-branded oranges had to start somewhere, right?
inspiration. why, I misspelled it, of course