Word Confusion: Sachet versus Sashay

Posted April 11, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I read about the woman who sacheted into the room, just as I’d taken a gulp of my lemonade…and promptly spewed it out. Considering that sachet is a noun, there is no way anyone could sachet. You can use a sachet, make a sachet, give ’em away as gifts, but since it is not a verb, there is no way someone can sachet as a movement.

I suppose one could sashay over to someone to hand them a sachet or six, but it’s still not sacheting.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Sachet Sashay
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: sachet and sashay

Burlap sachets of herbes de Provence

Image is JPS68’s own work [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Burlap sachets of herbes de Provence


A model on the runway in Oka Diputra clothes at a fashion show in Tokyo, Japan.

Image is Stephoccitan’s own work in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I can definitely imagine this model sashaying down the street.

Part of Grammar:
Noun
Plural: sachets
Noun; Verb, intransitive 1

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: sashays
Past tense or past participle: sashayed
Gerund or present participle: sashaying

A small perfumed bag used to scent clothes

  • [Archaic] Dried, scented material for use in scenting clothes
  • A small soft bag containing perfumed powder, placed in drawers to scent clothing
  • The powder contained in such a bag

[British] A small sealed envelope, usually made of plastic or paper, for containing sugar, salt, shampoo, etc.

Noun:
[In American square dancing] A figure in which partners circle each other by taking sideways steps

Verb, intransitive:
[Informal; chiefly North American] Walk in an ostentatious yet casual manner, typically with exaggerated movements of the hips and shoulders

  • To glide, move, or proceed easily or nonchalantly

Perform the sashay

Examples:
I like to tuck a lavender sachet under my bed pillows.

Instead of mothballs, consider a sachet of lavender, rosemary, cedar, and/or bay leaves to put in with your woolen sweaters.

George always takes the soap and shampoo sachets in every hotel he stays in.

Noun:
They performed the sashay and then the half sashay like champions.

He called for a Half Sashay, a sideways DoSaDo to end back where you started.

“Promenade a full 3/4, Grand Square, Half Sashay, Roll Away with a Half Sashay, Ladies In, Men Sashay…”

Verb, intransitive:
Louise was sashaying along in a long black satin dress.

Helen just sashayed in as if she belonged there.

We sashayed left in a counter-clockwise maneuver.

Derivatives:
Noun: sachet powder
History of the Word:
1475-85 from Middle French and equivalent to sach-, a combining form of sac + the diminutive -et, from the Latin saccus meaning sack, bag. 1 Mid-19th century as an alteration of chassé.

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C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?


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