expergefaction

Pronounced: ex-SPUR-juh-fak-shun, noun

Notes: A long word for a common thing


Yesterday’s word

The word scofflaw is “a contemptuous law violator”

First usage

This word goes back to the 1920s

Background / Comments

A wealthy Prohibitionist sponsored a contest in the 1920s to create a word to mean “a lawless drinker” (he wanted a word to cast shame on Prohibition lawbreakers). Two people independently came up with our word, and split the cash prize. Language experts didn’t think much of the word, but it caught on, eventually expanding beyond its Prohibition roots to the present meaning.

Published by Richard

Christian, lover-of-knowledge, Texan, and other things.

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