Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: vaticide

vaticide (VAT-uh-seyed) - n., the murder of a prophet; the murder of a poet.


Also one guilty of doing either of these. The ambiguity of this word goes back to its Latin root: vātēs meant any of seer/prophet/bard/poet, and while in daily life, no one would consider a hack poetaster a true seer (witness the opening of Juvenal's first satire), at the higher levels there was some conflation of the inspiration from the Muse and from a divinity that breathed through a seer. Notice, also, oracles delivered their words in verse -- in perfect hexameters, at Delphi, for example. These days, the word is usually understood to point at the prophet, but being (at least sometimes) of the other tribe it threatens, I tend to think of that meaning first -- especially around poetry slams.

And with a killer verse, he won the slam -- it was total vaticide.

---L.
Tags: latin, noun, v
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