Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Discuss
Email this
Feedback
RSS/XML
Permalink

A.Word.A.Day--bunbury

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: eponyms -- words coined after someone.

bunbury (BUN-buh-ree) noun

An imaginary person whose name is used as an excuse to some purpose, especially to visit a place.

verb intr.

To use the name of a fictitious person as an excuse.

[From Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest where the character Algernon invents an imaginary person named Bunbury as an alibi to escape from relatives. He explains to his friend, "I have invented an invaluable permanent invalid called Bunbury, in order that I may be able to go down into the country whenever I choose. Bunbury is perfectly invaluable. If it wasn't for Bunbury's extraordinary bad health, for instance, I wouldn't be able to dine with you at Willis's to-night."]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

htte:re birds who bunbury. One of them is the blackbird."
Jesko Partecke; The Birds Who Bunbury; Deutsche Welle (Germany); May 22, 2007.

X-Bonus

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right. -Laurens van der Post, explorer and writer (1906-1996)

Subscribe:

Sign up to receive A.Word.A.Day in your mailbox every day.

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace." -The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith