Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Defenestrate -- toss out a window

from wordsmith.org


PRONUNCIATION: (dee-FEN-uh-strayt)

MEANING: verb tr.: To throw someone or something out of a window.

ETYMOLOGY: From Latin de- (out of) + fenestra (window).

There have been many defenestrations over the course of history, but the most famous, and the one that inspired the word defenestration, was the Defenestration of Prague on May 23, 1618 . Two imperial regents and their secretary were thrown out of a window of the Prague Castle in a fight over religion. The men landed on a dung heap and survived. The Defenestration of Prague was a prelude to the Thirty Years' War.

See a Lego sculpture of the Defenestration of Prague. Also, check out the defenestration of various articles of furniture in this unique San Francisco sculpture.

USAGE: "When someone in a Joe Lansdale novel is defenestrated, you feel like shaking the glass shards out of your lap."Jeff Salamon; The Further Adventures of Hap and Leonard; The Austin American-Statesman (Texas); Jul 4, 2009.

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