Another Wednesday brings another installment of Wednesday’s Word! There is something about finding words for this series that just makes my day. I think most of us could spice up our daily vocabularies a bit – in a non-vulgar way!
The word for this week is…
foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals; marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action [as defined by the merriam-webster dictionary]
The word (pronounced “quicks-otic”) is actually based on Don Quixote, the title character from the book of the same name by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. [Actually, the full title of his novel is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, or El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha in Cervantes’ native Spanish.]
When I was in high school, a Spanish teacher had me translate this book from Spanish to English. Let me be clear: I’m a fool because the book has English translations. (I was such a good kid….) My translation was awful but I do remember that Don Quixote was very idealistic. [I’m adding this book – in English – to my “to-read” list right now.]
There are many things I like about the word quixotic:
- it’s based on a literary character – the character’s traits were so pronounced and well-known that they caused a new word to be added to our lexicon!
- it looks like more of a challenge to say than it actually is. That x in the middle looks dangerous!
- a word with a q and an x – imagine the Scrabble score!
- as always, the word is fun to say! It sounds like a variant of exotic to me, although with a vastly different meaning.
If you’re around someone this week who seems to have really impractical ideals, keep this word in your back pocket!