Today’s Dictionary.com Word of the Day is Expostulate. It means “to reason earnestly with someone against something that person intends to do or has done; remonstrate: His father expostulated with him about the evils of gambling.”
The Etymology Dictionary tells us this about the origin of this word:
“1530s, “to demand, to claim,” from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare “to demand urgently, remonstrate, find fault, dispute, complain of, demand the reason (for someone’s conduct),” from ex- “from” (see ex-) + postulare “to demand” (see postulate (v.)). Friendlier sense of “to reason earnestly (with someone) against a course of action, etc.” is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.”
I did find a reference to the word as featured in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”: “The circle closed up again with a running murmur of expostulation.” It seems that “The Great Gatsby’s” rich vocabulary has become the source of many vocabulary studies. You can find expostulation as well as many other wonderful words on vocabulary “flash cards” online. Of course there are a few other mentions of the word used in other literature, but it does not seem to have any surprising history attached to it.
That being said, I must say that there has been quite a bit of expostulating going on in recent times…and the divide grows deeper and wider.
Here’s my haiku for today’s word. Have a great weekend!
expostulators may rant
for naught, to closed minds