Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, January 19, 2017



In the 1540s the Latin word augur made its way into English. Though not all etymologists agree, a majority identify the base of the word augur to be the Latin word avis, or bird. An augur was a religious official who foretold the coming year based on divination involving entrails garnered from the sacrifice of birds. To create the word augur, it appears the root avis was combined with the Latin word garrire, to talk, since after viewing the entrails, the religious official announced the foretelling. 

Augur is the root of the word inauguration. 

Birds are known to tweet (though not after being sacrificed).  

So it might be fair to say that since inaugurations were born, countless tweets contributed to their success or failure

Just saying. 

Big thanks to this week’s sources:  Etymonline, Wordnik, Merriam-Webster, The OED.

1 comment:

  1. I think we might revive the practice of having professional chicken liver-readers tell us what's going on instead of some guy Tweeting nonsense in the middle of the night. I'm sure it would help everybody's blood pressure. :-)