Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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explaterate

explaterate (eks-SPLAY-tuhr-ayt) - v., to talk continuously without stop, blab, gab.


An Americanism -- one of the many colorful word coinages made in the middle half of the 19th century, which was a golden age of vibrant journalistic writing as newspapers, especially those in or near frontier states, competed for readers with their energetic writing. This one caught on, but unlike many that did as well, this one didn't survive the century, though I occasionally hear it used by some of my Mid-Western relatives, who seem to have a suspicious familiarity with the works of Mark Twain -- who got his start as a colorful journalist. The word was coined in Boston in 1831, and like many slang words the origin is obscure, but is possibly a mash-up of "explain" and "elaborate," though there's also the theory that it's a frequentive form of "explate," an old variation of "explain" that was still lingering at the time -- possibly moping around in bars in the South Bay, waiting to return to popularity that never came, to mangle a metaphor.

But I'll stop here before I explaterate any further.

---L.
Tags: e, unknown etymology, verb
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