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Mar 3, 2021
This week’s theme
Words coined after Gulliver’s Travels

This week’s words
lilliput
Laputan
struldbrug
yahoo
Brobdingnag

struldbrug
Art: Stephen Baghot de la Bere, 1904

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

struldbrug

PRONUNCIATION:
(STRUHLD-bruhg)

MEANING:
noun: Someone very old and decrepit.

ETYMOLOGY:
After struldbrugs, the name for people in Gulliver’s Travels who grow old and decrepit, but never die. Earliest documented use: 1773.

NOTES:
In Gulliver’s Travels, struldbrugs is the name given to a small group of immortal people who live in the kingdom of Luggnagg. They continue to grow old and at the age of eighty they are regarded as legally dead, though they continue living on a small pension from the state.

USAGE:
“The most startling moment came in a Q&A session, when a normal, healthy-looking middle-aged woman volunteered the information that she had been given a life expectancy of 100. Apparently this is now not unusual. She did not seem wholly happy about it, understandably: the prospect seemed more of a burden than a blessing. She did not want to be a struldbrug.”
Margaret Drabble; “I Am Not Afraid of Death. I Worry About Living”; The Guardian (London, UK); Oct 29, 2016.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it's the only one you have. -Emile Chartier, philosopher (3 Mar 1868-1951)

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