Printable Version
Pronunciation: jub-ê-layt Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: To rejoice, to exult, to exhibit joy at the highest.

Notes: Hip, hip, hooray!Today we are ignoring the noun Jubilate, always capitalized. The 100th Psalm is sometimes called "The Jubilate", as is the third Sunday after Easter. It is also possible to use this verb as a noun, uncapitalized, to refer to an outburst of joy, an instance of jubilation. A poem or song may be a jubilate of spring or a perfect snow. Such a work would be jubilatory and the writer would no doubt be jubilant in writing it. A season of jubilation, a jubilant celebration is a jubilee.

In Play: We jubilate most often over good fortune: "Harvey Wallbanger jubilated over his promotion a bit too much in the pub last night and missed work today." (However, I hear that the raise that came with Harvey's promotion was nothing to jubilate over.) Of course, small jubilations are also possible: "We plan to jubilate at home with friends this New Year's eve."

Word History: Today's Good Word may be traced back almost to its original conception. It originated with a Proto-Indo-European word that had to be very close to yu-dhe-los "one who makes yu". Yu is an onomatopoeic rendition of the sound our ancient ancestors made when they jubilated. It was combined with dhe- "do, make", which went on to become Russian delat' "do, make", English do, and Latin facere "to do, make", among others. The compound word yu-dhe-los went on to become Latin jubilare "to shout with joy". We can find the descendant of this word in Spanish jubilarse "to retire," certainly a cause for jubilation. In the Germanic languages it took a quirky turn to become English yowl and Modern German jodeln "to yodel". (May we all jubilate and be thankful that Monroe Thomas Clewis reminded us of today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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