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Jul 15, 2008
This week's theme
Words related to royalty

This week's words
magna carta
royal we
morganatic
king's ransom
queen regnant

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

royal we

PRONUNCIATION:
(ROI-uhl wee)

MEANING:
noun: The first-person plural pronoun used by a king or queen to refer to himself or herself, for example, "We are not amused," a line attributed to Queen Victoria.

As it's often used by newspaper editors, the term is also known as the "editorial we". Mark Twain once said, "Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'."

ETYMOLOGY:
[From Old French roial, from Latin regalis (kingly) + Old English we. The practice of using "we" to refer to oneself is called nosism.

USAGE:
"Lately [Margaret Thatcher] has seemed to take almost a regal view of her position, using the royal we. On a television program after the birth of her first grandchild she said, 'We have become a grandmother.'"
Anthony Lewis; Is It Thatcher's Britain?; The New York Times; Mar 23, 1989.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There are none so sour as those who are sweet to order. -Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues, essayist (1715-1747)

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