Printable Version
Pronunciation: e-fyu-shi-ay-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Chatter, blab, idel talk idly, babbling. 2. Blabing out, telling secrets, letting the cat out of the bag.

Notes: Here is a word we may use instead of the silly synonyms in the Meaning above, when the occasion calls for gravitas. This noun implies a verb, effutiate, and an adjective, effutiative, neither of which seems ever to have been used. (Maybe for the better.)

In Play: We have here a high-falutin' word with a mundane sense: "The reception for the new president was unremarkable, marked only by mundane effutiation of the assemblage." Sometimes effutiation can be annoying: "The speaker's voice was drowned out by the effutiation of the audience he was trying to persuade to listen."

Word History: J. Lacy created this word in a piece published in the London Magazine in 1823. Lacy improperly merged the infinitive stem of the Latin verb effutire "to blab, babble" with the extended suffix -ation. The first part of this suffix comes from Latinate words based on the past participle of a-stem verbs, verbs ending on -are. Clearly, effutire is not such a word; moreover, this word is not based on the past participle of effutire, which is effutitus. The Latin verb is a combination of ex- "out" + futire "to pour". Latin futilis "worthless, futile" apparently came from this verb via the sense of a vessel from which liquid is easily poured, thence a leaky worthless vessel. (Today's Good Word is another from the arcane vocabulary of the mysterious Grogie of the Alpha Agora.)

Dr. Goodword,

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