"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."

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Quixotic (pronounced quick-sotic) means not sensible about practical matters; idealistic and unrealistic; or absurdly chivalric, like Don Quixote in the book by Miguel Cervantes. Unlike the adjective, the Don himself is pronounced key-ho-tay.

"An insight into the beauty and excellence of this incomparable adjective is unhappily denied to him who has the misfortune to know that the gentleman's name is pronounced Ke-ho-tay." (Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary)

1 comment:

  1. As a youngster I had considerable difficulty with the pronunciation anomoly.