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September 21, 2019

Word of the Day: Objurgation

2 CQ

Word of the Day : December 10, 2016

objurgation \ahb-jer-GAY-shun\ noun


: a harsh rebuke


"I had early formed my opinion of him; and, in spite of Miss Murray's objurgations, was fully convinced that he was a man of strong sense, firm faith, and ardent piety, but thoughtful and stern." — Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey, 1847

"It always amazes me to sit at a sporting event and hear members of the audience shout objurgations at a pro player who has just dropped a ball or made some other error." — R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., The New York Sun, 25 Apr. 2003

Did You Know?

Objurgation traces to the Latin objurgare ("to scold or blame"), which was formed from ob- ("against") and jurgare ("to quarrel" or, literally, "to take to law"—in other words, "to bring a lawsuit"). Jur- in Latin means "law," and there are several English words related to objurgation that have legal implications, including perjury, abjure, jurisprudence, and even injury. But despite its etymological connection to the law, the word objurgation carries no legal weight. It refers to nothing more than an unusually harsh or severe scolding.

Aired December 10, 2016

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