Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Vocabulary Lesson

Today’s word, courtesy of the New York Review of Books: chiliastic.

It’s nothing to do with superb Texas spicy beef dishes, and it’s not pronounced that way (it’s “kill-ee-as-tik”). It actually means “millenarian,” or pertaining to the belief Christ will return to rule for a thousand years.

Etymologically, it’s Greek, which you can see if you spell it more phonetically–it comes from khilioi (“a thousand”)–the same root we use for “kilometer.”

I don’t know when you’d use this word, but I liked it and wanted to share.

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One response to “Vocabulary Lesson

  1. Gary Lee Phillips January 20, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    *grins*As a long time student of the Greek language, I delight in words like this. As for when you’d actually use it, the answer is probably not. Except for a tiny minority of us, people don’t seem to appreciate classicisms the way they did a century ago. In fact, they become downright hostile about them. (Editors too, in many cases.)Even so, I did wonder back at new year’s 2000 whether we were about to experience a chiliasm, but it just didn’t turn out that way.

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