Printable Version
Pronunciation: hay-stêr-ri Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. (Obsolete) The art of roasting meat. 2. (Obsolete) Roast meats collectively.

Notes: Today's Good Word is a product of the contributor's exorbitantly arcane vocabulary. It was built on haster "turnspit, reflectant screen behind roasting meat", a word derived from haste "roast meat; turnspit". Just remember: it rhymes with tastery, not mastery. None of the few dictionaries that list it, gives a pronunciation.

In Play: Although this word was crowded out of the English vocabulary by the more common word haste "quickness of pace", it still has its uses: "Hamilton Burger takes great pride in his barbecue. His secret lies in his mastery of porcine hastery." Even the second sense finds its application, if in odd places: "Balkan restaurants often display hasteries of various meats on turning spits to entice customers to eat big."

Word History: Today's Good Word, though now obsolete, was once so popular in Middle English that it appears with a substantial lexical family. It was borrowed from Old French. It was made out of Old French haste "spear; turnspit" + English -ery, a collective noun suffix. Haste entered early Middle English as "roast meat" or "turnspit". Old French inherited haste from classical Latin hasta "spear, pole, rod". Hasta was handed down from PIE ghasto- "stick, spear", which also went into the making of Gothic gazds "thorn", Middle Irish gat "willow withe", and Old High German gartia "rod, scepter". None of these seems to have made their way to the present. (Now let's thank the mysterious Grogie, who recommended today's Good Word in the Agora back in 2018, but we must also thank Slava for recently reminding us of it.)

Dr. Goodword,

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