View Full Version : Need a better word

01-05-2010, 06:38 AM
I hate my word choice for the underlined word in the below sentence. Character is 25 - 30 Western country female. And the underlined word is wrong, wrong, wrong. My wife suggested "tizzy," which is an improvement, but if you can suggest something better, I'd appreciate it.

"Now you're just worrying me. I'm going to be in a fret until you get back home."

Every so often, my sex and age show up.

Thanks for any help.

Jim Clark-Dawe

01-05-2010, 06:41 AM
tizzy was my first choice
"to be frantic"

01-05-2010, 06:43 AM
worried sick

a nervous wreck (maybe not, depending on the time period)

won't be able to sleep a wink

a mother bear looking for her lost cub

01-05-2010, 06:46 AM
... have my knickers in a twist/panties in a knot until you get back home?

all worked up?

in a mood?

ETA: Maybe combine the two sentences. "Don't do that - now I'm going to be worried until you get back home."

01-05-2010, 06:50 AM
yep. *in a tizzy* was the first thing I thought of too. I also thought of *in a snit* but that would only work if she was going to be mad, not worried.

01-05-2010, 06:51 AM
So far I think tizzy works best in that spot

01-05-2010, 06:51 AM
in jitters

pacing a hole in the floor

listening for every sound of footsteps (I know, a stretch)

01-05-2010, 06:55 AM
try - in a snit

01-05-2010, 07:05 AM
tied in knots. tied in a knot. stomach in knots.

or some such variation :)

01-05-2010, 12:13 PM
"All wound up"
"such a state"

You could always reach into the mind of Dan Rather, who I really miss on Election Night for his comic relief. http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/blratherisms.htm This is NOT to introduce politics, but he did have a lot of colloquialisms about jitteriness in our last couple of elections. To wit:

"Is that making your fingernails sweat?"
"Is it like a swan, with every feather above the water settled, but under the water paddling like crazy?"
"We don't know what to do. We don't know whether to wind a watch or bark at the moon."
"This race is shakier than cafeteria Jell-O."
"These returns are running like a squirrel in a cage."

I'm sure other sayings will come to mind. If you want to get totally serious about it, you could always hit the library and find the Dictionary of American Regional English http://dare.wisc.edu/ and research it. The Wikipedia entry has some more links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictionary_of_American_Regional_English

01-05-2010, 12:18 PM
I like tizzy, but it sounds a little old to me. Maybe:

"I'm going to be tearing my hair out until you get home."
"I'm going to be flipping out until you get home."
"I'm going to be freaking out until you get home."

01-05-2010, 04:35 PM
Or - you can change the sentence and have her fretting until he gets back (rather than be in a).

Synonym of fret is worry - another possibility.

Fuss is a stretch.

Tizzie depends (my opinion) on whether it fits your character and the context. Puma

01-05-2010, 04:43 PM
I'm going to be a mess until you get home? (hot mess, gosh-darn mess, etc)
eta: or 'a wreck' (etaa - just saw alleycat already made that suggestion :))

01-05-2010, 05:50 PM
I won't sleep 'till you get back home.

Smiling Ted
01-05-2010, 07:43 PM
I hate my word choice for the underlined word in the below sentence. Character is 25 - 30 Western country female. And the underlined word is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Is she a contemporary Western woman?
Or from another time period?

01-05-2010, 07:46 PM
If it were me, I'd say "freaking out".

01-05-2010, 08:08 PM
"wigging out"

"holding my breath"

"Panicking" (or "in a panic")

Noah Body
01-05-2010, 08:15 PM
"I'll eat my gun if you don't come back home!" (OK, a touch drastic.)

Kathie Freeman
01-05-2010, 09:10 PM
in a frazzle.
in a lather

01-06-2010, 02:12 AM
"Now you're just worrying me. I'm going to be in a fret until you get back home."

Isn't 'fret' a verb? You can fret but I don't think you can be in a fret unless you are in a giant guitar. Do you mean anxious or frightened or maybe in distress?

How about "I'm going to be close to losing it until you get back home."

Tsu Dho Nimh
01-08-2010, 01:15 AM
"pacing the floor"?

I'm not going to be able to sleep until you get home?

01-08-2010, 08:44 AM
For that age group, I would think trippin' or like a couple others mentioned "freaking out"

L.C. Blackwell
01-10-2010, 10:00 AM
"Now you're just worrying me. I'm going to be in a stew until you get back home."


"I'm going to be wearing out the floor until you get back home."

Fretting and stewing usually go together, but there's also fuss, fidget, be antsy, wear a hole in the rug, etc.

01-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Happened to find this while browsing through my BREWER'S DICTIONARY OF PHRASE & FABLE:

Bag of nerves-a tense or agitated person.

01-15-2010, 05:29 PM
... gonna be all out of sorts til.

01-15-2010, 05:57 PM
stressed out?

Rhoda Nightingale
01-15-2010, 06:36 PM
I vote "tizzy" as well. How do you feel about "state?" My mom's said that to me a few times. "Boy are you in a state today!" Or "wound up," maybe?

01-16-2010, 05:34 AM
It's fun when your editing is down to word choice.

I found another reason against fret when I found I'd used it someplace else in the book. Fret is just one of those words that you need to limit yourself to one per book. But it was a different character using it, who could get away with it

Tizzy was okay, but is rhymes with dizzy and just wasn't quite the image I want for the character. For some reason I feel this word matters to characterization and so I'm probably obsessing about it. I've tried just about every word suggested, and I think I'm finally going with "state." At least until the moon changes to a new phase.

Thanks for all the help.

Jim Clark-Dawe