I used the word blurt in my writing today, and my character mused on what a strange sounding word it is… I wondered about it too and looked it up. No-one seems to know where it came from, maybe it was just imitative, an echoic word for what happens when you do blurt something out, speaking without thinking. Blurt appeared in the late 1500’s, but from where I do not know!
Here is an except from my novel Radwinter, where a bit of blurting goes on.
“You’re very grumpy today,” Kylie was never shy of the honest opinion… which in a way I prefer.
I once overheard Julie and Vicky who hadn’t seen me as I was on the floor picking up the paperclips I had managed to throw into the air and sprinkle everywhere. They had come in after lunch and were talking about ‘the firm’ as they called the solicitors, as opposed to ‘the office’ which was the administrative staff. By some fluke they just happened to be talking about me… I was alright, one said, but I had no inter-personal skills.
I stayed crouched beside the filing cabinet until I heard one say she needed to go to the Ladies, and the other say she would take the letters to the Post Office across the road. On that occasion it was Kylie who had found me still on my hands and knees feeling angry and upset… what was wrong with my interpersonal skills?
“What’s wrong with my interpersonal skills?” I asked Kylie now as the paper-clip incident jumped into my head.
I’d spoken without thinking, as so often happens and now I blushed and stuttered and became more grumpy as I asked her about some papers I wanted.
“Can I be honest?” said Kylie, once I’d finished snapping at her.
I sagged… Rebecca had said that last night… Can I be honest? Well, no, not if you’re going to say something I don’t want to hear.
“You’re just an awkward git,” Kylie said. “I don’t mean awkward like you want to be difficult, I mean awkward that you don’t know what to say and get all embarrassed and blurt things out and then get more embarrassed.”
I could feel that I was red to the tips of my ears now. I shuffled some papers around and looked at the computer screen which I hadn’t switched on yet.
“Can I be even more honest?” Kylie went on. “You need to do something daring – do a parachute jump, or go on the Trans-Siberian railway, or have an affair!”
“Affair!” I spluttered. “I’m married!”
“Exactly!” and with that Kylie flounced off.
It’s impossible to describe my feelings at that moment.