Some days I wake up with the weirdest words in my head. Today it was "defenestrate". I literally become conscious in the morning with these words repeating over and over in my head, and usually it has nothing to do with the dream I had. As far as I can tell ha! That is weird!
According to the OED it first showed up in relation to the 1618 Defenestration of Prague "the action of the Bohemian insurgents who, on the 21st of May... broke up a meeting of Imperial commissioners and deputies of the States, held in the castle of the Hradshin, and threw two of the commissioners and their secretary out of the window; this formed the prelude to the Thirty Years' War." After that it only really shows up a few more times, once in a letter by Robert Southey ("I much admire the manner in which the defenestration is shown [in a picture]."... Southey apparently had good taste! Ah yes, out of the mouths of...poets), and in 1915, only to mention that "there is no good authority for its use...". Well, Lit Digest of 1915, Robert Southey used it. So there.
I've never actually used this word, except to mentally correct a teacher just the other day. I'm resolved to do two things:
1. use the word in a poem or something publishable (and thereby gain admittance to the venerable OED ;) )
2. use the word in every day speech such as "do NOT defenestrate that gum wrapper, don't you love your country, you Benedict Arnold!"... ok, maybe that's going a little overboard, perhaps "go ahead and defenestrate that banana peel, it's biodegradable, and who wouldn't want banana trees in Idaho...wait, what?"
Btdub, I was looking for a picture of Russel Crowe defenestrating his desk in A Beautiful Mind, but I couldn't find one! The horror! It's such a great scene... anyway, I came across this picture over at Digging Driftless, and what a work desk! I want to run my hand across that wood! Beautiful.