Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Word of the Day: Defenestration

From Wiki (unfortunately):
Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The term was coined around the time of an incident in Prague Castle in the year 1618. The word comes from the Latin de- (down or away from) and fenestra (window or opening). Likewise, it can also refer to the condition of being thrown out of a window, as in "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch".
I came across this word while going through the Prague Castle incident of 1618 (from Wiki again, unfortunately). In this incident, some Roman Catholic officials were thrown out a third floor window, plummeting about 70 feet.
"The Regents were thrown out of the third floor window along with the Regents' secretary, Philipus Fabricius but survived after falling 70 feet (21 metres). Catholics maintain the men were saved by angels, who caught them; Protestants believe they fell into a heap of horse manure... Later Protestant pamphleteers asserted that they survived due to falling onto a dung heap, a story unknown to contemporaries and probably coined in response to the Imperial officials attributing their survival to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. The officials were probably saved by their coats and uneven castle walls slowing down their fall."

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