• adscititious •
æd-si-ti-shês • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Adjective
Meaning: Supplemental, extrinsic, tacked on, not inherent, not integral, from an external source.
Notes: Here is a word on the lip of the dustbin of history that requires rescue. Apparently, no one has ever attempted a noun, though adscititiousness is always there. I would prefer adscititation since sciscitation already appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. It also contains the adverb for today's Good Word: adscititiously.
In Play: We can find many places to use today's word: "Mark added a few adscititious remarks to his wife's description of their vacation." Anything extraneous is subject to this epithet: "Abel Mann won the race despite the fact he was running on an adscititious leg."
Word History: Today's Good Word is a borrowing from Latin adsciticius with an O inserted between the I and U to adapt it to English. The Latin word was made from adscit-, the past participial stem of adsciscere "to admit, to adopt". This verb is made up of ad- (up)to + sciscere "to get to know, to ascertain". The PIE source of sciscere, skei- "cut, split", is the source of many Indo-European words. Perhaps the most prominent is science, which was originally associated with analysis, separating the parts of the object of study. Greek skhizein "to split" produced schizma "a split", which English borrowed as schism. Norwegian ski is a reduction of skid, which referred to a plank of wood. English borrowed both with different meanings. (Our gratitude to Eric Berntson, a Lexiterian in the Alpha Agora, for suggesting today's Good Word is anything but adscititious.)
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