Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What is whimsy?

Ok, I got a great question today from Gumnut (click to check out her art).

So, whimsical wizards of the blogoshpere:
"What exactly makes a piece whimsey?"

First off - you might have noticed the two spellings above: "whimsy" and "whimsey" - see how fun this is already, two spellings (both acceptable).

The New Oxford American Dictionary definition:
whimsy |ˈ(h)wimzē| (also whimsey)
noun ( pl. -sies or -seys)
playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor : the film is an awkward blend of whimsy and moralizing.
• a whim.
• a thing that is fanciful or odd : the stone carvings and whimsies.
ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in the sense [caprice] ): probably based on whim-wham .:

whimsical |ˈ(h)wimzikəl|
1 playfully quaint or fanciful, esp. in an appealing and amusing way : a whimsical sense of humor.
2 acting or behaving in a capricious manner : the whimsical arbitrariness of autocracy.
whimsicality |ˌ(h)wimziˈkalitē| noun
whimsically |-ik(ə)lē| adverb


Here's what you sent in:

Because of the phrase "on a whim" I think that maybe it can't be planned. Whimsey just happens and it's delightful when it does.

Whimsy is just fun, free and flowing--no agenda other than joy.

How about charming, delightful,carefree, uplifting, airy, pretty, sweet.

I think of whimsy as fun and light-hearted.

British people being silly

Edward Lear:

A statue in Australia intentionally erected upside down: