Saturday, December 10

Tergiversate The Word Of 2011 Coincidence

Winston Churchill
A coincidence story today via Michael from Fleet in Hampshire, England about a word I had never heard previously.

Coincidence is an amazing thing.  My current bed-time reading is Speaking For Themselves, the personal letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, edited by their daughter.

Chapter VI on The Dardanelles, has an introduction which includes a comment about Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher being initially enthusiastic in his support of the plan, but then obstructing all Churchill's efforts to send Naval reinforcements.

Churchill stated: 'Wildly supportive of any plan at one moment, and as violent in his opposition to it the next, the 70 year old Admiral's tergiversations made him a difficult colleague - and an impossible one when events started to go awry.'

Having read this, the following day I read that tergiversate, a word I had never previously come across in my 77 years had been chosen as the word of 2011.

My dictionary (Concise Oxford) entry for the word of the year reads:

tergiversate v.i. Turn one's back on something, be apostate, change one's party or principles; equivocate, make conflicting or evasive statements; hence or cogn. ~A'TION, ~ator, ns [f. L tergiversari turn one's back (tergum back vertere vers- turn) + -ATE]

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  1. never heard that word b4 either

  2. Good one! I'd never heard of this word, either. Off to see how it's pronounced!