Saturday, August 2, 2008

Word of the day: quondam

Thought this was a truly original and interesting word. I sure as hell hadn't run into it before.

quondam \KWAHN-duhm; KWAHN-dam\, adjective:

Having been formerly; former; sometime.

A quondam flower child, she spent seven years at the Royal College of Art, before becoming a lecturer at Edinburgh School of Art.
-- "Interview: Cool, calm collector", Independent, December 13, 1997

For the unregenerate "peasant" . . . had gone there with the successful glass distributor, shrewd investor, versatile talker, and quondam bon vivant whose motto was "The best is good enough for me."
-- Ted Solotaroff, Truth Comes in Blows: A Memoir

There was an exception to this in the form of Mrs Edna Parsons, a formidable Englishwoman who had once been the Prince's nanny and now served as proctor, supervising his behaviour. She was about fifty and true to her quondam profession, she could be quite strict.
-- David Freeman, One of Us

Enjoy expanding your vocabulary,


[via the's Word of the Day email service]


Anonymous said...

Wikipedia includes 'Has-been' as a noun descriptor... as in John Sutton, 3rd Baron Dudley in the 1400s, for allowing his estate and castle to fall into the hands of a cousin thru poor planning. Also called 'Lord Formerly' - as in lived there once? -has been there but not now, but then later. After the castle was forfeited to the crown (some bloodletting afoot, no doubt), the place was restored to his son. But he alas spent his life post-castle living off his friends. Tricky business this estate planning... va mama

Shocho said...

That's gonna be hard to use in a sentence three times today, but thanks, I like it.