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fitful = ruckartig, stoßweise, unruhig [Schlaf], unbeständig, launenhaft —— fitful breathing = unregelmäßige Atmung —— fitful weather = launisches (unbeständiges) Wetter



“So drinking alcohol late at night can mean that your brain will be trying to catch up on missed REM sleep at the end of the night – producing particularly FITFUL sleep.”

Michael Mosley - BBC Two

Did you


- often stopping and starting and not happening in a regular or continuous way

Cambridge Dictionary


You’ll find the earliest use of this word in Shakespeare’s  Macbeth (1605): “Life’s fitful fever,”  where it is used in the sense of “characterized by fits” (fit = Anfall), then revived in romantic poetry in the late 18c. with the sense of “shifting, changing” as in today’s OWAD.


blowing hot and cold, by fits and starts, FITFUL, episodic, ever-changing, fluctuant, fluctuating, herky jerky, intermittent, irregular, on-again-off-again, sporadic, vicissitudinous


- fit for a king = "This hotel room is so luxurious - it's fit for a king."

- fit like a glove = “This shirt fits perfectly and feels very comfortable - it fits like a glove.”

- fits someone to a “T” = “Those green trousers suit you so well, the size and look is perfect - they fit you to a T.”

- fits the bill = “This appartment is just what you were looking for - it exactly fits the bill.”

- as fit as a butcher’s dog = “Hey Bob, with all that hiking you’re in such good health and shape - you’re as fit as a butcher’s dog.”

- having a hissy-fit = “They are disappointed over trivialities, moaning, groaning over small or imaginary problems - they’re having a hissy-fit.”

SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“I slept FITFULLY last night, it must be all this late-night eating.”

THANKS to Thomas for suggesting today’s OWAD!

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

Paul Smith

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