Friday, January 4, 2008


One of my favorite words is "passel".  I'd probably heard it before, but I first really noticed it when watching the Firefly episode "Our Mrs. Reynolds", in which Inara Serra suggests to the grizzled yet charming Captain Malcolm Reynolds that he mights have "hundreds of fat children", to which he replies, "Could you imagine that? Me with a whole passel of critters underfoot?". Mal is the man.

Some time after hearing the word, Mom sent me an email, saying that I had a passel of mail at home for me to pick up the next time I came to visit. I was having a particularly stressful week, so I mumbled compulsively, "passel of mail passel of mail passel of mail...". It's got an excellent rhythm, the phrase "passel of mail".

"Passel" is an excellent word. It is a corruption of the word parcel, but doesn't quite mean parcel, it more refers to a collection of an undetermined number of people or things. It means what it sounds like, so you can freely pepper your conversations with the word "passel", and people will respond not with confusion, but with intrigue. Most experts agree that using the word "passel" brings more mirth than speaking obscenities.

Here are some webpages which use the word "passel":
Passel O' Possums
Peachpit: Apple announces a passel of new products
A passel of reasons to be glad you're a Tucsonian
Bad Astronomy: Another Passel of Creationist Lies (Note: Dr. Phil Plait does not like Creationists AT ALL. Poor Dr. Plait.)
Star Wars Databank: Argente Passel
Michael Bay Promises a Passel of New and Unique 'Bots for Transformers 2
c|net: Adobe Hires a Passel of Brainiacs Web Design and Development

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