Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Superior Person's Tuesday

Quietus n. A blow or other action bringing about death; a coup de grace. As in Hamlet: "his quietus make / With a bare bodkin...." (a bodkin being a pin or other pointed instrument such as a stiletto). A suggestively gentle word for a grim thing. "Time for your quietus now, children," you gently say, as you usher your visitors' uncontrolled little offspring out of the lounge room; "I have some lovely plastic bags for you to play with in the rumpus room."

Each Tuesday, we’ll offer up a Superior Word for the edification of our Superior Readers, via the volumes of the inimitable Peter Bowler. You can purchase all or any of the four Superior Person’s Books of Words from the Godine website. Quietus appears in the third.

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