• fungible •
Pronunciation: fun-jê-bêl • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: 1. Exchangeable, substitutable, of equivalent value. 2. Compatible, similar in nature.
Notes: The adverb for this adjective is formed by simply replacing the final [e] with a [y]: fungibly. The noun, of course, is fungibility. An object that is fungible with another may be called a fungible, which is to say that the adjective may be used as a noun standing alone: "Your clunker of a car is no fungible for my racing bike."
In Play: Fungible is a term with a place in trading: "Thanks for the offer to trade, but my chocolate cordial ice cream and your cola are not fungible." You could also say, "They are not fungibles." In the gas and oil industry, this term is often used in the sense of "compatible": "Different types of oil may be transported in the same pipeline so long as they are fungible."
Word History: Today's Good Word comes from the Medieval Latin fungibilis, an adjective from the verb fungi "to perform, carry out". The past participle of this verb, functus, underlies English function. The root here is not related to that of fungus, though it may be related to Greek sphongos "sponge", the origin of our word sponge. The semantic case for this relation, however, is a bit spongy itself. (Our gratitude to Dr. Lyn Laboriel for suggesting this legal contribution to the general language is fungible with our indebtedness to her.)
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- Grand Panjandrum
- Posts: 3305
- Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:41 pm
- Location: RUSTON, LA
I was going to suggest this as a good word, since I am seeing it so frequently, but Doc has already done it well twice. So I'm commenting to bring it to the top in case someone else needs reassurance of its usage. With the current bitcoin fad, I wonder whether we will find that specie fungible with what we now define as money.
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