Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Birds

If you're like me, you enjoy knowing the origins of words. It can be surprising, and sometimes amusing, to see how a word or a phrase evolved into its present-day usage.

With a big change happening in our country this week, I wondered about the origins of "inauguration."

The word dates to 1569, from the French inauguration (no change there at all), which means "installation, consecration." The French word is derived from the Latin inaugurationem, meaning "consecration, installment under good omens," and from inaugurare meaning "take omens from the flight of birds, consecrate or install when such omens are favorable." Its Latin roots are in- "on, in" + augurare "to act as an augur, predict."

I didn't hear of a multitude of birds flying around Washington, D.C. this week, but let's hope that recent events augur well for our country!


Dirk said...

Very interesting word study!


Rose said...

Now, that was interesting...thank you for sharing.

Hugs, Rose

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Stupid Birds :o)

Big Mark 243 said...

The birds had the good sense to vacay and get out of town!

This was a cool entry!

Lori said...

This was very, very interesting. This is a word I had never wondered about. Thanks for looking it up and sharing with us.