Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M
sallymn
1word1day

Sunday Word: Conniptions

conniptions [kuh-nip-shuh ns ]
noun:
plural of conniption (a fit of rage, hysteria, or alarm; tantrum)

Examples:

Music licensees can see some of that but are having conniptions at the possibilities that the decrees would eventually be sunsetted and licensing would then take place in a free market. (All Over the Map: Publishers, Writers, Small Towns & Apartment Owners Weigh In On Consent Decree Debate, Billboard, Sep 2019)

Words that would have caused our grandparents to have conniptions now pass without remark. (Jennifer Stitt, The Absolute F-cking Best Swear Word For You, Time, Jan 2018)

Lou Plunkett is as pretty as a chiny aster that blooms in September and what she's having these number-two conniptions over Mr Crabtree for is more than I can see. (Maria Thompson Daviess, Rose of Old Harpeth)

Origin:

1833, American English, origin uncertain; perhaps related to 'corruption', which was used in a sense of "anger" from 1799, or from English dialectal canapshus 'ill-tempered, captious,' probably a corruption of captious. (Enacademic.com)

For a word that has such an official ring to it, there is surprisingly little information on where the terms conniption or conniption fit originated from. The word did not appear until the 19th century and is virtual unused in the United Kingdom, leading most scholars to conclude that the etymology of conniption fit lies in the United States. According to the Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins by William and Mary Morris, the word conniption is most likely the creation of an imaginative American who coined the term in an attempt to sound educated with a bit of pseudo-Latin. The folks over at Podictionary did a pretty cool podcast about the etymology of the word conniption last year that suggested that the word was first used to describe a woman by the name of Aunt Keziah who lost her cool in the 1800s. She and the rest of her neighbors in a small town of New England were waiting for a scheduled visit by President Andrew Jackson that was canceled with very little notice, at which said conniption fit did ensue. (Etymology Now)


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