Hi there! Welcome back to Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the English language’s most interesting and unusual words. This week Simply CSOFT offers you a new opportunity to beef up your vocabulary and impress your friends with your knowledgeableness (yes, this is a real word).
Check out this week’s wacky word from TermWiki.com
one who performs on a tightrope.
The word funambulist, from Latin funis, ‘rope,’ and ambulare, ‘to walk,’ refers to one who practices the art of tightrope walking (funambulism), an acrobatic discipline that typically involves one or more artists who balance along a line or rope at great height in front of an audience.
The art of funambulism was already a popular crowd pleaser as early as Roman times. Similarly, in Korea, a traditional form of tightrope walking called jultagi, which blends in story-telling and music, has been practiced for hundreds of years.
The most well-known funambulist of recent times is arguably the Frenchman Philippe Petit. Mr. Petit nailed many high wire performances, but his most famous feat is undoubtedly his clandestine tightrope walk across the New York Twin Towers in 1974. For a full account of this amazing heist from its careful planning to its aftermath you can watch the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire.
Everybody loves top ten lists, so here’s one with some of the most incredible tightrope performances of all time (our favorite is number four).
Finally, here are two examples below of funambulist used in a sentence:
- It’s an extraordinary quality bartenders have; a bar or, in this case, a lounge, can be quite adverse and hectic and easily become chaotic, yet bartenders – good bartenders, that is, go about the storm of hands and impatient glares and fidgets with a frightful calm, riding a teetering wire between cordiality of social obligation and quickness and precision of hand with the balance of a world-class funambulist. (Huffington Post)
- Sometimes a thrill of delicious sensation would pass through the audience when the funambulist missed his footing and was dashed dead on the orchestra, or the boy tumbled from his balanced [sic] pole and broke a leg. (Frederic William Farrar (1895): Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom)
We wish you a great week and hope you’ll find or maintain your balance along the tenuous tightrope that we call life!
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