Printable Version
Pronunciation: sêr-kêm-sai-klay-shên Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Riding a (bi-, motor-) cycle around or about a site or area.

Notes: I have introduced nonce words created by contributors only once before, when my 7-year-old granddaughter concocted desnoralator. This is not a sniglet but a solid derived word, excepting only the English slang meaning of cycle. It implies a verb, circumcyclate and an adjective, circumcyclational.

In Play: The obvious meaning of today's word is "cycle around": "Minnie Miles spent the summer cycling across Europe. She circumcyclated every city she visited." However, it could just as well mean "cycle about": "Jeff circumcyclated the region around my house when he visited last summer."

Word History: Today's nonce word is made up of two words from the same PIE original word. The prefix circum-"around, about" + cycle in the colloquial sense of "bicycle, motorcycle". Circum is the accusative case of circus "ring, circle", inherited from a reduplicated form of PIE (s)ker- "to turn, bend", kiker-. This somehow ended up as kirk "church" in Scots English, but appropriately as church in regular English. Cycle was borrowed from Greek kyklos "circle, wheel", from the same PIE word. (Brian Johnson, who lives in Japan, created this word for a discussion of cyclorama last week in the Agora.)

Dr. Goodword,

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