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

Thursday word: subfusc

subfusc (sub-FUSK) - adj., dark, dusky; having subdued colors, dull and drab. n., dark clothing, esp. (Brit.) clothing acceptable, by regulation at certain universities, for an examination or official event.


By "certain universities" we mean specifically Oxford (Cambridge apparently didn't require subfusc?), and can be approximately described as Edwardian white-tie wear. There's also an alternate adjectival form, subfuscous, for being like the clothing. As far as the clothing is concerned, the word was originally humorous slang first recorded in the 1850s, the general adjective having been adopted into English around 1710 from Latin subfuscus, dusky, from sub- in a little-known sense of approximately + fuscus, dark.

Thick carpet, subfusc curtains with a pseudo-empire pattern, and gilt-legged chairs give the waiting room the atmosphere of a mausoleum.

---L.
Tags: adjective, latin, noun, s
Subscribe

  • Sunday Word: Merrythought

    merrythought [ mer-ee-thawt] noun: (British English) the wishbone or furcula of a fowl, the forked bone between the neck and breast of a…

  • Tuesday word: Solace

    Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021 Solace (noun, verb) sol·ace [sol-is] noun Also called sol·ace·ment. 1. comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble;…

  • Sunday Word: Saltings

    saltings [ sawlt-ings] noun: (British English) areas of low ground regularly inundated with salt water, often taken to include their…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 3 comments