Grammar Grappler #9: Just Deserts vs. Just Desserts

Nooooooooo. I can’t believe I have been using this wrong expression my entire life. Surely I’m not alone on this one. How would you fill in the blank in this sentence?

In the closing scene of Murder in the Magnolias, the murderess finally received her [just deserts, just desserts].

Scroll for the correct response.









Answer: just deserts

I know, right? It is pronounced like the sweet treat at the end of a meal, but it is spelled like the dry, arid land.

This expression means “the punishment someone deserves,” and this older reference to deserts is always used in the plural form.

And actually, the more I think about it, I guess it does make sense. After all, we would not want to reward the murderess with brownies, cookies, and cake.

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