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A.Word.A.Day--fin de siecle

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fin de siecle (fahn duh see-EH-kluh) adjective, also fin-de-siecle

Of or pertaining to the end of a century, especially the nineteenth century, and its climate of sophisticated world-weariness, self-doubt, etc.

[From French, literally, the end of the century.]

"She (Katherine Clark) uses motifs from Chinese porcelain and from the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, who made the peacock the height of fin de siecle fashion a century ago." Suzy Menkes, Homage to the Glories of the Peacock, The International Herald Tribune (France), Dec 15, 1998.

"In these fin-de-siecle circumstances, it is perhaps surprising there is not more sign of millenarian panic." Harbingers of Doom, The Independent (London), Apr 14, 1998.

This week's theme: words related to calendar.


To be well informed, one must read quickly a great number of merely instructive books. To be cultivated, one must read slowly and with a lingering appreciation the comparatively few books that have been written by men who lived, thought, and felt with style. -Aldous Huxley, writer (1894-1963)

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