If some smart Alec repeatedly drops words into conversations you don’t understand, purely to show off the diameter of their planet-sized brain, you might justifiably suffer a fit of ‘conniptions’.

Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘a fit of hysterical excitement or anger’, this informal term is believed to have its origins as a 19th century Americanism – but like rock ‘n’ roll and obesity, it eventually found its way over here.

For anyone mulling its appropriate usage, as our business copywriters regularly do here at Wordsworks, here’s a sample sentence:

“Jenny’s belt-length party dress gave her father conniptions.”

Perhaps we should all try to slip ‘conniption’ more into our everyday vocabulary. After all, if this lovely-sounding word were to disappear altogether, that really would be worth a hysterical fit or two…