• admonish •
Pronunciation: æd-mahn-ish • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. To warn or reprimand sternly; to chastise, reprove, rebuke. 2. To urge earnestly, to exhort, to advise strongly.
Notes: This verb has an ending found in only a few words in English (see Word History). It comes with a noun without this suffix, admonition, and a rather rare adjective also without it, admonitive. The latter supports an adverb, admonitively.
In Play: Today's Good Word has two discrete meanings, one has a pejorative implication: "Lucy Lastic was admonished for her manifold transgressions." The other implies encouragement: "Lucy was then admonished to behave more modestly."
Word History: Today's word derives from Middle English amonishen, a peculiar reworking of Old French amonester "urge, encourage, warn". French apparently got its word from Vulgar (Street) Latin admonestare, from Latin admonere "bring to mind, remind", later "warn, advise, urge", from ad "(up) to" + monere "to warn, advise". Monere came from PIE moneyo- "to make think", the causative form of men-/mon- "to think". This PIE word is also the source of English mental and the noun suffix -ment, as in government, which is characterized by less thinking than should occur there. The -d was later restored on the original Latin model in French and English (Modern French admonester). The ending was influenced by other words ending in -ish, such as astonish and abolish. (Let us now thank Rob Towart for today's rather odd Good Word and admonish him to suggest more.)