What's in a Word | All Blogs

Toast shows hope

By Debra Dobbins

What’s in a word? In the case of Gabrielle Giffords, what lies within one word, toast, is another, hope.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the left side of her brain Jan. 8, recently asked for toast at breakfast. Toast is a simple, one-syllable word, but her request gave her doctors, family and friends hope that she might recover her higher-level cognition. You may read more about Giffords in today’s print edition or e-edition.

Toast refers both to a piece of browned bread and to the giving of honor to someone or something, as in “I propose a toast to.…” In its latter sense, the word came from the practice of dropping browned, spiced bread into wine to add flavor, according to Webster’s.

I propose a figurative toast to Giffords’ resilient spirit. I hope she’s soon well enough to propose her own toasts to the doctors, family members and friends who are guiding her through the fight of her life.


“Hip, Hip, Hoorah,” by Danish painter P.S. Kroyer, 1888
Courtesy of Wikipedia



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