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Mar 22, 2022
This week’s theme
Verbs

This week’s words
rusticate
flagellate
mollify
quillet
fleer

flagellate
Flagellate, verb (Naples, Italy)

flagellate
Flagellate, noun
Image: Artforms of Nature, 1904

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

flagellate

PRONUNCIATION:
(verb: FLAJ-uh-layt; adj.: FLAJ-uh-lit/layt)

MEANING:
verb tr.: To punish, especially by whipping.
noun: An organism having a whip-like appendage that’s used for locomotion, such as swimming.
adjective: Relating to such an organism.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin flagellare (to whip), from flagellum (whip), diminutive of flagrum (whip). Earliest documented use: 1623.

NOTES:
Flagellating (and other forms of self-punishment) is used in offshoots of many religions as a way for people to show their devotion. Some examples: (do NOT click if squeamish) Christianity (The Sun), Hinduism (BBC), and Islam (The Independent). I may be wrong, but I have a feeling God would prefer if people used all that time and effort to ease someone’s pain instead.

USAGE:
“This being macho Mexico, even women who want to whip themselves are not allowed the same freedoms as men. Animas who want to lash themselves must do so in private. Their public manifestations must remain free of any form of self-flagellation or blood-letting.”
Linda Diebel; The Right to Bear Whips: In Macho Mexico, Even Women Who Want to Flagellate Themselves Are Discriminated Against; Toronto Star (Canada); Mar 28, 1999.

“A novel that three of us had turned down last year ... had just been shortlisted for the Booker. There was no real point in that kind of after-the-event flagellation, but we flagellated away all the same.”
Judith Flanders; A Bed of Scorpions; Minotaur; 2016.

See more usage examples of flagellate in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat. -Louis L'Amour, novelist (22 Mar 1908-1988)

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