Printable Version
Pronunciation: vek-si-lah-lê-jee Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: The study of flags.

Notes: Now we have a word with a double L and single L; don't forget. It comes with a panoply of lexical relatives. The adjective is vexillological(al), the adverb, vexillologically, and personal noun, vexillologist. Vexillation and vexillary refer to soldiers grouped under one standard.

In Play: flagsVexillological questions can rise to the forefront of national ones: "Recently, a vexillological issue became political when white nationalists began parading about under the Confederate flag." Or not: "Barbara became a student of vexillology as a Girl Scout by camping out in various state parks and noting which ones flew the state flag upside down."

Word History: Today's Good Word was created from Latin vexillum "flag" + -ology "study of". Vexillum is a diminutive of velum "sail, cloth, curtain". Velum came to Latin from PIE weg-l- a suffixed form of weg- "to weave", which also lurks behind Irish figh "to weave", Welsh gweu "to knit", and English wick. English veil came from Old North French veil "kerchief" (Modern French voile), which French made from Latin vela, the plural of velum. (Now let's thank active Agoran Barbara Beeton for reminding us that Wordmaster William Hupy had suggested today's curious Good Word way back in 2014.)

Dr. Goodword,

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