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August 11, 2020

Word of the Day: Causerie

1 CQ

Word of the Day : October 29, 2017

causerie \kohz-REE\ noun


1 : an informal conversation : chat

2 : a short informal essay


The professor invited the award-winning playwright to her class to have a causerie with her literature students.

"[The book] is, to be technical, a causerie, a brilliant and engaging, though none too rigorous, monologue by a self-described archaeologist of gossip, a man who has been everywhere and seen everything and known everyone…." — Simon Callow, The Guardian (UK), 15 Mar. 2017

Did You Know?

Causerie first appeared in English in the early 19th century, and it can be traced back to French causer ("to chat") and ultimately to Latin causa ("cause, reason"). The word was originally used to refer to a friendly or informal conversation. Then, in 1849, the author and critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve began publishing a weekly column devoted to literary topics in the French newspaper Le Constitutionnel. These critical essays were called "Causeries du lundi" ("Monday chats") and were later collected into a series of books of the same name. After that, the word causerie acquired a second sense in English, referring to a brief, informal article or essay.

Aired October 29, 2017

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