Word of the Day

Saturday, January 11, 2014

mot

\moh\ , noun;
1.
a pithy or witty remark; bon mot.
2.
Archaic. a note on a horn, bugle, etc.
Quotes:
…and only when King Alfin was back in Onhava, did he gradually realize from a reiteration of rather frantic questions that he had left somebody behind ("What emperor?" has remained his only memorable mot).
-- Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire, 1962
And then as the duchess went on relating a mot with which her mother had snubbed the great Napoleon, it occurred to Newman that her evasion of a chapter of French history more interesting to himself might possibly be a results of an extreme consideration for his feelings.
-- Henry James, The American, 1877
Origin:
Mot comes from the French word of the same spelling, which in turn is rooted in the Latin word muttum which meant "utterance." It is related to the word motto.
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