Friday, October 25, 2002

Etymology Today from M-W: vatic \VAT-ik\
: prophetic, oracular

Ex: Andy's years of experience bird-watching have given him a vatic ability to name the precise day each bird will appear in the spring.

Some people say only thin lines separate poetry, prophecy, and madness. We don't know if that's generally true, but it is in the case of "vatic." The adjective derives directly from the Latin word "vates," meaning "seer" or "prophet." But that Latin root is in turn distantly related to an Old English word for "poetry," an Old High German word for "madness," and an Old Irish word for "seer" or "poet."

Fun Words: loathsome, cajolery, dossier
Previous E.T.

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