Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Word Up Wednesday: Defenestration

I started seeing the word fenestration all over the place this week--in posts, at it was haunting me. So this week's Word Up must be this odd word.

So what does fenestration mean? It can mean any of the following:

1. The design and placement of windows in a building.
2. An opening in the surface of a structure, as in a membrane.
3. The surgical creation of an artificial opening in the bony part of the inner ear so as to improve or restore hearing.

Or, it means the spatial arrangement of windows. And yet, defenestration means the act of throwing something or someone out of a window.


That was vastly more interesting to me, and so defenestration is your Word Up today. According to Wikipedia, the term was coined "around the time of an incident in Prague Castle in the year 1618." An INCIDENT! Wow, now that smacks of conflict, doesn't it?

I mean, I've seriously just given you a novel prompt, haven't I? How awesome would it be to not only start a story with defenestration occurring (of a person, please; a cup and saucer isn't interesting), and then using the word! My mind immediately goes to castles, specifically Stirling Castle in Stirling, Scotland. I visited this castle in the foothills of the Highlands years ago. There was a great story the tourguide gave my friend and I about how someone was defenestrated right out of a window and splatted in an ugly and probably messy heap on the ground below. I tried to get my dear friend to lie down on the grass in the splat spot, as if she had been defenestrated, but she was well used to my antics and refused.

Can you use this word? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love it? (Don't even answer that because it's so obviously a TEN!)


Tina Lynn said...

Some defenestration may occur today if people don't let me get some sleep!

Gemma Noon said...

I second Tina Lynn!

Out of interest,though, how exactly do you use the word?

"the defenestration occured in the library"
"the annoying chap was promptly defenstrated"
"we were caught in the act of defenestrating Bob"
"we plotted how best to defenestrate him"

Although number three, there, has given me a great idea for a story.

Thanks for the word!

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Though they didn't put it quite so nicely, Luigi and Guido made the options clear: John could pay the money he owed them, or face defenestration.

(I have no idea if that was correct usage, but it sure was fun!)

Travener said...

This is one of my all-time favorite words.

Defenstration from a saloon is a cliche in movie Westerns.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Right on guys, you all have it right I think. People flying horizontally out a window or door as a result of being tossed is the best ever!

Natalie Murphy said...

My history professor loves this word. He asks us everyday whether anyone used it in a sentence with a stranger. It cracks him up.
Oh, the life of a university professor. I'm thinking it's rather lonely and boring, lol.

Dawn Simon said...

You're fun! I love that I learned such a cool word here today. :) I don't think I've ever seen "defenestration" (the word--I KNOW I've never seen the action), but I totally get what you mean by being haunted by a word.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is always my favorite day on your blog, Sierra! Word Up Wednesdays rock! :-)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I never knew what this word meant. Learn something new every day. :)

Btw, you have a little gift over at my blog. :)

Meghan Ward said...

Hey, that's my word! I commented on your first Word-Up Wednesday post that I love the word defenestrate. I think the word always stuck with me because, well, "fenĂȘtre" is French for window, but also "fenster" is the German, and there was a time when my French ex-boyfriend, "Alain," would always call windows (when he spoke English) "fensters" and it drove me nuts. It didn't occur to me until much later that he was probably cheating on me with a German woman, which would have explained his slip-ups and my constant desire to defenestrate him.

Sierra Godfrey said...

DANG, Meghan!! LOL!

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