Today’s Word. From A.Word.A.Day


solecism (SOL-i-siz-ehm, SOA-li-) noun

1. A nonstandard usage or grammatical construction.

2. A violation of etiquette.

3. An impropriety, a mistake, or an incongruity.

[Latin soloecismus, from Greek soloikismos, from soloikizein, to speak

incorrectly, from soloikos, speaking incorrectly after Soloi (Soli), an

Athenian colony in Cilicia where a dialect regarded as substandard was


“`Ah! Madam,’ said Ovid, `how great a solecism would it be both in a lover

and a poet if he did not look upon his mistress as the sublimest object

of his thoughts!’

Benjamin Boyce and Thomas Brown; The Adventures of Lindamira: A Lady of

Quality; The University of Minnesota Press; 1949.

Full-text on Questia at

For some reason (probably just that the words sound similar), I’ve always thought solicism had something to do with solicitous. Ah, nope.

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