Today’s Word: Macarize

A language-loving pal in New York just wrote to say that she’d just found this blog and wanted to macarize me.

Not that I’m paranoid, but I assumed that she was yet another of the Mac users in my life who keep nagging me to ditch my beloved IBM Thinkpad and come on over to their side. (You know who you are!)

Turns out that macarize has been around since at least the early 1800s, and means “congratulate.” The OED says macarize originally meant “to account or call (a person, etc.) happy or blessed.” Seeing that, I was smacking (smackerizing?) my forehead for not guessing this word’s Greek origin. Macarize is from makarizein, the root of the word that appears repeatedly in the Greek text of the Beatitudes (“Blessed are the peacemakers,” etc.)

Anyway, I’d like to macarize Randy Hecht for introducing me to a new word. But until they make a Mac-compatible version of the OED on CD-ROM, I’m not letting go of my Thinkpad.

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