in Wacky Word Wednesday

Aegrotat – Wacky Word Wednesday

It’s October! The air is becoming crisp, the leaves are changing colors, boots and sweaters are being pulled out from storage… and flu season is  right around the corner. Cover your mouth and keep your hands clean for today’s Wacky Word Wednesday, a weekly celebration of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world!

Today’s definition from

quo top




unclassified degree given to a student who has fulfilled all graduation requirements, but due to illness, was kept from attending the final examinations

quo bot Aegrotat

Identified as a British English word in the dictionaries, aegrotat is the only surviving English word derived from the Latin verb aegrotare, which means “to fall ill.” It was first used around the 1860s. The Latin equivalent, aegrotat, is the third person singular of aegrotatare, so it is literally translated into English as “(s)he is sick.”

A quick search on the Internet illustrates that aegrotat is also used in Canada and New Zealand, which, curiously enough, seems to have a number of universities with an established aegrotat policy, including the  University of Auckland and Massey University.

In some dictionaries, like the Merriam-Webster, an aegrotat is also defined as the medical certificate that testified a student’s illness and the inability to attend lectures or examinations…so the equivalent of a doctor’s note. Now if only we had a doctor’s note that would land us a promotion in the office!

Below are some sentence examples to help you better understand aegrotat:

  • More than 4500 Canterbury University students have sought aegrotat assessments because of the earthquakes. (The Press)
  • Hernando tried to wangle a passing grade out of his chem professor, but she informed him that aegrotats are only acceptable in Britain. (QuotidianWord)
  • My aegrotat allowed me to graduate from university even though I missed two months of my final semester due to being “bedridden by mono”. I love doctors you can pay off. (QuotidianWord)

Stay tuned for next week’s Wacky Word Wednesday!

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