I’ve always loved the word whimsy. For some reason, those “fanciful, fantastic” ideas strike me as pure joy. (Shocking for a novelist, right?)
Interesting, though, that (in my head at least) whimsy and whimsical have good connotations, while whim can carry a more negative one. If we do something on a whim, that could carry a meaning of “caprice” as well.
All of these words, though, come from one I’d never heard of before–they’re a shortening of whimwham.
Of what? Yep. Whimwham. And what, do you ask, is that? Well, back in the 1600s, a whimwham was a fanciful object that was worn as an accessory. Not something useful, but something just meant to be eye-catching. No one’s quite sure where the word came from…but it’s certainly succeeded in creating other words from it!