Monday, January 14, 2013


Meaning: according to Sir Thomas, "one after another". Since he invented it, he should know.

Usefulness: 1 (Sir Thomas uses it of a killing men and of paying bills, so it's rather versatile.  Gets extra points for potential confusion: "I've booked meetings epassyterotically today." "I beg your pardon?" "You know; one after the other." )

Logofascination: 1 (I think I need to learn Greek; the OED tells me this is from ἐπασσύτερον, epassyteron - 'one upon another'. I'm fairly sure the ep- is related to epi- in episode and epicentre, but after that I get stuck. It doesn't seem to be related to erotically, though I'm sure Sir Thomas appreciated the semi-homophone. I recommend reading the etymonline erotica entry anyway, as an exercise in appreciating the effect of being surprised by poetry. Yet another sola word, for which Sir Thomas is the only citation in the OED.)

In the wild: It's been quite popular as word of the day, but no-one's said much interesting about it.

Degrees: 0

Connections: n/a

Used in: Ekskybalauron and Logopandecteision. Sir Thomas not only used this word twice, but defined it twice, thereby disproving the OED's labelling of it as a nonce-word. Considering the number of words he used but did not feel the need to define, epassyterotically was obviously rather special.

From Ekskybalauron, in which his list of valorous Scotsmen includes Francis Sinclair, "natural son to the late Earl of Catnes" (Caithness, I suspect). When attacked by seven Spaniards who suspected him of dishonouring a cousin, he:
fell to it, and that most cleverly, though with such fatality on the Spanish side, that in less then the space of half an hour he killed seven of them epassyterotically, that is, one after another; 
In Logopandecteision we are discoursing on creditors, as usual. If they hadn't been such quomodocunquizing clusterfists, Sir Thomas' intention was that he would repay his debts, and his father's,
according to the exigence of the persons and circumstances of the nature, condition, and quality of their security, to dispatch the residue of them epassyterotically, that is, one after another. 

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