Comedy Word of the Day: Defenestration

Defenestration – The act of throwing something (particularly a person) out of a window!

What amuses me most about the word, is that to De-…. something is to normally take away something, e.g. to de-throne. So the word implies that in not being thrown through a window, you are perpetually in a state of “Fenestration”! And were you to be thrown through a window, and then thrown back again, would that mean you were REfenestrated?!?

I love the way the web answers questions I didn’t even know I had!

The Etymology of Defenestration

1620, “the action of throwing out of a window,” from L. fenestra “window.” A word invented for one incident: the “Defenestration of Prague,” May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War. Some linguists link fenestra with Gk. verb phainein “to show;” others see in it an Etruscan borrowing, based on the suffix -(s)tra, as in L. loan-words aplustre “the carved stern of a ship with its ornaments,” genista “the plant broom,” lanista “trainer of gladiators.”

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • pasquali oyet simon 5 November 2010, 5:34 am

    hi i l;ike to receive comedy word in my mail every day if possible

  • manoj 1 July 2011, 4:11 pm

    i like comedy

  • Heather 7 September 2012, 6:32 am

    I came across this while GoogleWhacking … just goes to show how educational whacking is.

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