http://bit.ly/QiCBq: "A word invented for one incident: the "Defenestration of Prague," May 21, 1618, when two Catholic deputies to the Bohemian national assembly and a secretary were tossed out the window (into a moat) of the castle of Hradshin by Protestant radicals. It marked the start of the Thirty Years War."
Word History: Today's Good Word is built on the Latin verb peccare "to stumble, go astray, sin". The root is ped-/pod- "foot" found in such borrowings as pedal, pedestrian, podiatrist, and tripod. Apparently a suffixed form of this word similar to *ped-cos "misstep" existed at one time before the formation of Latin and this word gave rise to *pedcare "to misstep". The D in this word then predictably converted to C, leaving Latin with peccare. The meaning then moved from an actual misstep to a metaphorical moral one, "to sin". So today's Good Word has made a remarkable journey to its current form and meaning—and all on foot! (Today we thank the impeccable Susan Kappel for raising the question, "Where are peccable and ravel?")
Sep 6, 2010
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