This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 3 August 2018

Word To Use Today: deipnosophist.

I know that no one can really use the word deipnosophist with a straight face - at least, I hope not - but it's a word to make people happy, all the same.

A deipnosophist is an expert in the art of dinner-table conversation, particularly if they have the knack of being interesting about unusual things.

Please note that it's conversation, and not a habit of lecturing, that makes someone a deipnospohist, for lecturing people is a terrible habit, especially at the dinner table, and quite likely to get you a face full of custard.

But even so...

...well, there are worse things than a face full of custard, aren't there.

File:Fishfingers & Custard Pi-Pie.JPG
photo by Kalki

Word To Use Today: deipnosophist. This word entered the English language in the 1650s. Deipnosophistēs was the title of a fifteen-volume work by Athenaeus, who lived in the second and third centuries BC. The work takes the form of very wide-ranging dinner-table conversations, and a great deal of what we know about Greek civilisation comes from Athenaeus's books. Deipno- means dinner in Greek, and sophistēs means knowledgeable in the arts of.

Although no one wants to be thought a sophist (that is someone who reasons cleverly but falsely) to be a deipnosophist would be really rather lovely.

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