Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Meaning: to throw someone or something out of a window.

Usefulness: 1 (It's a useful threat, and has apparently also become a "neologism, humorous" for uninstalling / removing Windows from a computer.)

Logofascination: 1 (It's my 200th post, so I'm being a bit nostalgic; I've been fascinated by this word since I was introduced to it at uni. Defenestration was threatened for misbehaviour in a clubroom on the second floor; reasonable when there was a balcony outside, slightly less reasonable - but possibly more interesting - when we relocated and you'd have dropped into the tavern below.  Defenestrate is actually a back-formation from defenestration, and the OED doesn't have a citation until 1915.)

In the wild: Lots of people are fascinated by this word, not least because it was coined to describe the Defenestration of Prague, which started the Thirty Years' War. Possibly the most interesting example is Brian Goggin's art installation on an abandoned building in San Francisco.

Degrees: 2

Connections: defenestrate - windows

Which is used in: Ekskybalauron; Sir Thomas claims granting his demands and clearing his debts is  as easy as opening a window or a door, and will be of such great benefit to the country that it would be unnatural not to.

Finally, he knowing that any man in a chamber desirous to enjoy the light of the sun, would be offended at him who by holding the windows shut should detain him in darknefe, as also be displeased with such a one as would keep fast the door against that person did intend to present him with a rich diamant; seeing the expansion of a door and window-leaf is able to admit the brightnefs of the one and wealth of the other, he expects that the State, considering how easily he may be disburdened of the aforesaid letts, and how upon their removal dependeth an illumination and enrichment of the minde in the knowledge of divers exquisite things, will not wittingly lose a matter of so great concernment for the not-performance of so mean a task; for when utility may be obtained with ease, and the steps to profit trod upon with facility, it needeth not to be imagined, where wisdom superiorizeth most, that such conveniences will be set at nought and omitted.

Mind, that's just one sentence in the introduction to the sixth book of Eksky, which argues the case fully. This sentence is surprisingly lacking in neologisms and Latin or Greek; indeed, 'not-peformance' smacks a little of translation from another language.

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