Word of the Day : August 9, 2019


noun ahm-nee-um-GA-thuh-rum


: a miscellaneous collection (as of things or persons)

Did You Know?

English abounds in Latin phrases. They roll off the learned tongue like peas off a fork: tabula rasa, ab ovo, a posteriori, deus ex machina, ex cathedra, mea culpa, terra firma, vox populi, ad hominem, sub rosa. Omnium-gatherum belongs on that list too, right? Not exactly. Omnium-gatherum sounds like Latin, and indeed omnium (the genitive plural of Latin omnis, meaning "all") is the real thing. But gatherum is simply English gather with -um tacked on to give it a classical ring. We're not suggesting, however, that the phrase is anything less than literate. After all, the first person known to have used it was John Croke, a lawyer who was educated at Eton and Cambridge in the 16th century.


"Muldoon's Picnic—the critically acclaimed omnium-gatherum of music, storytelling, poetry, and more—has become a staple of New York's cultural diet." — BroadwayWorld.com, 4 Sept. 2018

"In his diary, a small, haphazardly kept omnium-gatherum, Arlen set down axioms, vocabulary words, and quotes from a wide-ranging reading list—Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle, Santayana, Nietzsche." — John Lahr, The New Yorker, 19 Sept. 2005

Word Family Quiz

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