June 16th, 2011

words are sexy

circumforaneous

circumforaneous (sir-kum-fohr-AY-nee-uhs) - adj., wandering from place to place, vagrant, vagabond.


It's taken on the sense of going house to house, but originally it was from town to town, or in the literal Latin from market to market: the roots being circum-, around, about + forum, market square + verbal ending. I don't know when it was borrowed, but at least before the early 18th century -- at a guess, mid-17th, as it's the sort of wit I associate with the period.

A circumforaneous violinist went from table to table, playing for the diners until they paid him enough to go away.

---L.