fustigate was our Word of the Day on 06/05/2018. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Though it won't leave a bump on your head, severe criticism can be a blow to your self-esteem. It's no wonder that "fustigate," when it first appeared in the 17th century, originally meant "to cudgel or beat with a short heavy stick," a sense that reflects the word's derivation from the Latin noun fustis, which means "club" or "staff." The "criticize" sense is more common these days, but the violent use of "fustigate" was a hit with earlier writers like George Huddesford, who in 1801 told of an angry Jove who "cudgell'd all the constellations, ... / Swore he'd eject the man i' the moon ... / And fustigate him round his orbit."
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