Word of the Day

Time to get started again:  Dictionary.com.  Wouldn’t want to be pedantic.  Look it up.

inkhorn \INK-horn\, adjective:

1. Affectedly or ostentatiously learned; pedantic.

1. A small bottle of horn or other material formerly used for holding ink.

. . .the widespread use of what were called (dismissively, by truly learned folk) “inkhorn terms.”
— Simon Winchester, “Word Imperfect”, The Atlantic Monthly, May 2001

In prison he wrote the De Consolatione Philosophiae, his most celebrated work and one of the most translated works in history; it was translated . . . by Elizabeth I into florid, inkhorn language.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature, s.v. “Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (c. 475 – 525).”

Inkhorn derives from the name for the container formerly used (beginning in the 14th century) for holding ink, originally made from a real horn. Hence it came to refer to words that were being used by learned writers and scholars but which were unknown or rare in ordinary speech.


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