Monday, May 7, 2007

Mellifluous words for caught red handed: in flagrante delicto


In flagrante delicto (fluh-GRAN-tee di-LIK-to) adverb In the very act of committing the offense; red-handed.[From Medieval Latin meaning, literally, while the crime is blazing.]

"Mr. Big, the dung beetle, for instance, regularly patrols his tunnel to check on Mrs. Big, and if he catches her in flagrante delicto, he throws the interloper out."
-- Richard Conniff; Close Encounters of the Sneaky Kind; Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.); Jul 2003.

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