When a person is described as being thrifty, one tends to visualise a person who clips coupons religiously and rummages through the clearance rack of your local department store. Generally speaking, these people behave this way because their financial situation depends on it.

These people may also be called frugal, penny pinchers, or, more commonly, cheap bastards, and typically, their appearance reflects their financial situation.

It occurs to me, however, that, growing up, a subliminal misconnotation was being fed to me via this word.

Commonly distributed throughout my hometown was a free weekly journal filled with ads of supposed good deals and whatnottery entitled the Thrifty Nickel. The mascot of said journal was a man wearing a finely tailored tuxedo, a top hat, and a monocle.

In this same region, there was a chain of spirit shops dubbed Thrifty Discount Liquor and Wine. Again, a thin fellow was finely costumed in a tuxedo and top hat.

Thus my mind is bombarded with the concept that to be thrifty is to be well-dressed.

With cheap wine on the breath.

I guess thrifty is a much more whimsical word, and sounds better than "Cheap Bastard Al-Kee-Hall" or "Crap fer Sale", conjuring up images from Jolly Olde England or something, but when a kid is growing up around such lies, it tends to create a big mess to be sorted out on a later date.

And as far as a mascot is concerned, I'll have to agree: a guy in a tux looks a heckuva lot better than an unshaven betrenchcoated wino reeking of stale urine and three-dollar chardonnay with a crumpled-up paper bag in his left hand.

Though the latter could make a fortune with scratch-n-sniff merchandise.

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