This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday Rest: suffragan. Word Not To Use Today.

This word has been annoying me for decades. 

A suffragan bishop (officially the g is pronounced as in get, but people quite often say it as in genius) is an assistant bishop.

But why call him a suffragan? I mean, it sounds far too much like a suffering bishop (and, although he does probably think he should be a proper bishop with his own cathedral and everything, that sort of whingeing does him no favours at all).

The other reason for not using this stupid word is that, as well as sounding like suffering (what with, I wonder? Ingrowing toenails?) it also sounds far too much like sufferance.

And, okay, people do take suffragan bishops on sufferance, because, let's face it, if you're going to see a bishop then obviously you want to see a proper one with a throne and everything, otherwise it's like turning up to see Batman and being fobbed off with Robin.

But there's no need to make that quite so clear in the poor man's name. Is there.

(I don't think the bishop in this picture is actually a suffragan because no one seems to bother to draw pictures of them, poor dears. But they look much the same.
They don't always have the halo, though.)

Word Not To Use Today: suffragan. This word comes from the Mediaeval Latin suffrāganeus, from suffrāgium, assistance.

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