in Wacky Word Wednesday

It’s that time again! We’re taking a quick break from Translation Review Week for another edition of Wacky Word Wednesdays, a weekly celebration of some of the wackiest and most interesting words from around the world.

Today’s wacky word is: defenestration.

The definition from Dictionary.com:

quo top

de·fen·es·tra·tion

[dee-fen-uhstrey-shuhn]

-noun

the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window

quo botDefenestration

It comes from a combination of the Latin prefix de- (meaning down from, off, or implying removal) and fenestra (meaning window). It can also be used in its verb form, defenestrate, but because it’s a transitive verb, it needs to be paired with an object.

This word comes with a story, actually. According to Broken Secrets, the blog about interesting things you don’t know yet, “The First Defenestration of Prague occurred on July 30, 1419 when a priest led his congregation on a protest through the streets of Prague. At the town hall, someone in a high window threw a rock at the priest. The people were enraged and stormed the town hall. They defenestrated the mayor, the town judge and thirteen members of the town council.”

For your reference, here are two examples of defenestrate used in a sentence:

  • After Howard Hughes defenestrated yet another plate of cookies, his personal chef was forced to commit ritual suicide as penitence for letting the chocolate chips melt together.
  • Genghis Kahn was not a leader who was given to prostration. Rather, when met with insolence, he was much more inclined to mass defenestration.

Last Week’s Wacky Word Contest

As you know, we held a sentence-writing contest for last week’s Wacky Word Wednesday. We got a few really good entries! And it’s interesting to note, when talking about satisfaction felt at someone else’s misfortune, how many of the entries dealt with religion, politics, and relationships gone awry.

Related:  Unique Challenges Translating to South East Asian Languages

That said, before announcing the winner of the contest, we would like to emphasize that the views expressed by the winning sentence do not reflect the opinions and/or beliefs of CSOFT International. We just recognize a well-constructed sentence when we see one.

Without further ado:

Congratulations, Ayl, on your winning sentence:

“I know the public uproar over the Dubai Ports fiasco in 2006 didn’t do much for the United States’ reputation abroad, but I wallowed in schadenfreude while watching Bush squirm.”

Please respond to the e-mail we sent you and your $15 Amazon.com gift card will be on its way!

For those of you who just tuned in, there is no contest this week.

BUT! We would love to hear about anything interesting that you’ve defenestrated* lately, so feel free to leave a comment and share a laugh with everyone.

*Note:  CSOFT does not support defenestration-related littering of any kind. Unless it’s people… like Soylent Green.

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  1. I met a bunch of guys who wanted to organize a defenestration conference the other day – but they never did anything. They just kept thowing their plans out the window!

    Ok I’ll shut up now.

  2. I took in my hands the stadium, with its spectators, the players and the referee, I even took the VIPs and the WAGs and especially all the commercials and I followed the package with my eyes landing in a million shattered pieces, a Defenestration to talk about for some time.

  3. Found a quite good intent of this action, in Chinese though: “ 难忘,在房屋倾覆的那一瞬,老人冒险跑到窗前拼尽最后一丝力气,将尚在襁褓中的孙子 [掷出窗外],而老人却永远也不能看见子孙再承欢膝下了!”

  4. Things went from bad to worse at the defenestration conference with the arrival of 20 drunk, bearded battle re-enacters carrying Conan swords.