March 2nd, 2018

words are sexy

overdue Thursday word: fescennine

Sorry late, was out sick yesterday. To make up for it:

fescennine (FES-uh-nayn, FES-uh-nin) - adj., scurrilous, licentious, obscene.

Originally, as Latin Fescennīnus, of or pertaining to the Etruscan town of Fescennia (near Civita Castellana, in modern Lazio), particularly their ribald harvest-festival and wedding songs. The Romans borrowed the custom of singing them for, particularly, weddings, and the term eventually became generic for a style of verse (see for example Catullus 61). English borrowed the word around 1600 for both the verse and as a general term. For usage example, something from Sir Walter Scott:

"Most frequently the dice were thrown by the company, and those upon whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain for a time a certain fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of fescennine verses in a particular order."
Guy Mannering

dog and book

Friday word: Eutaxy

Eutaxy, n. (yoo-tak-see, yoo-tak-see): good order or management.


The meeting, in fact, put the final touches to the establishment of the first real Stock Exchange; henceforward eutaxy was to reign.

Charles Duguid, The Story of the Stock Exchange, 1901

That most excellent, harmonious eutaxy in Heaven which God himself settled from the beginning amongst the Angels, is a thing more perfect than that which we call political liberty on earth ... ,

"Trial of Lieutenant-Colonel John Lilburne," Cobbett's Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings for High Treason and Other Crimes and Misdemeanors, Vol. IV, 1809


Greek, from the Greek adjective eutaktos, "well arranged".

First use:

Early 1600s

(from Word of the Day, Sept. 12, 2016)