"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Here is another old word I came across recently - nuncupative. It means oral not written but publicly or solemnly declared. It was used to describe a type of will that was made orally, and backed up by written witness testimony as to its validity. Nowadays we are less trusting of the spoken word and so nuncupative wills no longer exist!

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