July 16, 2013
lunatic (adjective)
\LOO-nuh-tik\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : insane b : designed for insane persons2 : wildly foolish
How do you use it?
Although some thought a plan to build a flying machine a lunatic idea, the Wright brothers achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight in 1903.
Are you a word wiz?

Which of the following natural occurrences inspired the creation of our word "lunatic"?

"Lunatic" derives ultimately from the Latin word "luna," meaning "moon." Until the middle of the 19th century, the word "lunatic" was used for people who exhibited insane behavior only some of the time. The ancient belief was that the full moon made such people act wild or insane, even though they behaved normally at other times (think about the legend of werewolves). The Latin word for such a person was "lunaticus," which came into English in the Middle Ages as "lunatik," and passed into Modern English as "lunatic," meaning "someone driven mad by the moon."
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