Tuesday 6 February 2018


Recently my subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Day (read about the founding contributors to the living document here) introduced me to the delightfully Latinate nonce word, uttered—or rather—committed to paper only once by Scottish epigrammist and translator Sir Thomas Urquhart of Comarty, quomodocunquizing. The term is defined as the act of making money by any means possible and appears in his 1652 work Ekskybalauron (Greek for gold out of dung and subtitled Or, the Discovery of the Most Exquisite Jewel, a prospectus on constructing a universal language) in the context, “those quomodocunquizing clusterfists and rapacious varlets.” On a side note, staunch Royalist and erstwhile political prisoner during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, Urquhart’s cause of death is listed as laughter, dying in a fit after having received the news of the restoration of the Stuart crown.