Word of the Day : August 18, 2011


noun vuh-tiss-uh-NAY-shun


1 : prediction

2 : the act of prophesying

Did You Know?

When George Orwell's novel 1984 was published in the late 1940s, a displeased critic said it broke "all records for gloomy vaticination." (In Orwell's favor, another critic asserted, "It is impossible to put the book down.") While it's about as difficult to predict the future of a word as the future of the world, hindsight reveals that "vaticination" has endured better than other words based on Latin "vates," meaning "prophet." "Vaticinian" (prophetic), "vaticinar" (prophet), "vaticinatress" (prophetess), and "vaticiny" (prophesy) have all faded into obscurity (although two synonyms of "prophetic," "vatic" and "vaticinal," also keep the "vates" lineage alive today).


The book's plot hinges on a teenager with a knack for prophecy and a fondness for offering strangers her vaticinations.

"But as is the case with romance, evidence of interest in vaticination and prognostication comes to us from many different sources, not just the Icelandic sagas." -- From Stephen A. Mitchell's 2010 book Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "vaticination": sohai_g. The answer is ...


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