Saturday, June 16, 2007

Word of the Day

roister \ROY-ster\ verb

: to engage in noisy revelry : carouse

Example sentence:Hugh didn't get much sleep last night because his neighbors were roistering until the wee hours of the morning.

Did you know?As Hugo Williams asserts in The Times Literary Supplement (November 15, 1991), roistering tends to be "funnier, sillier and less harmful than standard hooliganism, being based on nonsense rather than violence." Roisterers might be chagrined to learn that the word "roister" derives from a Middle French word that means "lout" or "boor" ("rustre"). Ultimately, however, it is from the fairly neutral Latin word "rusticus," meaning "rural." In the 16th century, the original English verb was simply "roist," and one who roisted was a "roister." Later, we changed the verb to "roister" and the corresponding noun to "roisterer."

1 comment:

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