April 26th, 2013

words are sexy

Belated Thursday word: belated

belated (bih-LAY-ted) - adj., coming or existing after the customary, useful, or expected time; late, delayed; (obs.) obsolete, old-fashioned, out-of-date.


With apologies for the belated word, but I had a family emergency that took up all my time and attention yesterday. This is the only surviving form of an obsolete transitive verb, belate, meaning to delay or cause to be late, formed from late plus an archaic verbalizing prefix for nouns and adjectives meaning "to cause (something) to be X," which also shows up in becalm and befriend. Seems like a useful structure myself, but we use be- in so many other ways (including as an adjectival intensifier) I can see how there's not much space for this meaning.

I had the belated realization that I'd forgotten to post a word.

---L.
cat in dress

Friday word: Fait accompli

fait ac·com·pli

noun \ˈfā-tə-ˌkäm-ˈplē, ˈfe-, ˈfe-ˌta-, -ˌkōⁿ(m)-, British usually -ˈkäm-(ˌ)plē\

plural faits accomplis

Definition: a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible

Example:

By the time we learned about the decision, it was already a fait accompli.

Etymology:

French, accomplished fact

First Known Use: 1845