Friday, June 06, 2008

Words for the Wise #3

Well, I am guilty of profound cunctation in my philological series, so to make up for it, here's a doozy:

deipnosophist \dyp-NOS-uh-fist\ (n.): One who is skilled in table talk.

At the age of six his future as a deipnosophist seemed certain. Guzzling filched apples he loved to prattle. Hogging the pie he invariably piped up and rattled on.
- Ellis Sharp, 'The Bloating of Nellcock
Deipnosophist comes from the title of a work written by the Greek Athenaeus in about 228 AD, Deipnosophistai, in which a number of wise men sit at a dinner table and discuss a wide range of topics. It is derived from deipnon (dinner) + sophistes (a wise or clever man).

Unfortunately, in the Jewish world, rampant deipnosophistry (and pseudodeipnosophistry) is responsible for many a cunctative and thus curtailed Shabbos nap.

The other words in this series can always be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment