"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."

Friday, 26 February 2010


Eleemosynary means relating to charity, alms, or almsgiving; supported by charity; intended for the distribution of charity.

I came across this word in the first sentence of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1761). "An author ought to consider himself, not as a gentleman who gives a private or eleemosynary treat, but rather as one who keeps a public ordinary, at which all persons are welcome for their money." At this rate the book promises to give me a number of new words for my vocabulary!

Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

1 comment:

  1. I have real difficulty with the pronunciation of this one.