Wednesday, June 18, 2014



Below the Mason-Dixon Line one is often asked, even by strangers, about one's religion. To this question I sometimes answer in jest "apolaustic," which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as "Concerned with or wholly devoted to seeking enjoyment; self-indulgent." All of the OED's examples of this word come from the nineteenth century. An earlier example can be found in The New-Year's Miscellany (London: A. Freeman, 1747), p. 57:
The upper Skirt and Stage of this Building is the Garret of expenceful Wasters, Gamesters, and unthrifty Debtors, where tho' they live robbed of their Liberty, as they rifled others of their Money, yet it is their great Happiness, that being glutted as it were with an apolaustick voluptuary Life, they have an easy Overture made to the contemplative and practick Life of Virtue.
Related post: The Apolausticks.

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