fustigate was our Word of the Day on 05/07/2013. Hear the podcast!
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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."
Origin and Etymology of fustigate
Late Latin fustigatus, past participle of fustigare, from Latin fustis + -igare (as in fumigare to fumigate)
First Known Use: circa 1661See Words from the same year
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