Friday, November 18, 2016

Word of the day: Defenestration

I happen to love this word.  I don't get a lot of chances to use it because I do not frequent barroom brawls where there are nice big windows to throw people out of.

Still, the act of throwing someone out of a window: there's a word for that.

Seeing the word was like a momentary spike of joy in these dark times.


  1. It is also used informally for the replacement of Windows desktops (in an organisation or a home) with MacOS or Unix, on the basis that throwing out the Windows isn't all that different from throwing people out of the windows.

    Which reminds me of Clive James:

    Windows is shutting down, and grammar are
    On their last leg. So what am we to do?
    A letter of complaint go just so far,
    Proving the only one in step are you.

    Better, perhaps, to simply let it goes.
    A sentence have to be screwed pretty bad
    Before they gets to where you doesnt knows
    The meaning what it must of meant to had.

    The meteor have hit. Extinction spread,
    But evolution do not stop for that.
    A mutant languages rise from the dead
    And all them rules is suddenly old hat.

    Too bad for we, us what has had so long
    The best seat from the only game in town.
    But there it am, and whom can say its wrong?
    Those are the break. Windows is shutting down.

    (Clive James, The Guardian, April 27 2005)

  2. I guess a word for "throwing someone out a window" was necessary given that the good citizens of Prague were apparently prone to doing that to politically unpopular individuals.

    And I've had conversations with people who use "defenestrate" in the sense that Firedrake mentioned although the proposed replacement OS was Linux.