Weekly Word: Cruciverbalist

If you’re into crossword puzzles, you better know this word! A cruciverbalist is “a designer or aficionado of crossword puzzles”. According to World Wide Words, “there is also cruciverbalism, for the art of crossword compilation or crossword fandom generally, but that is much rarer.”

Somebody (probably a cruciverbalist himself) translated crossword into Latin: cruc- meaning “cross” and verbum meaning “word”. Put them together and you get this mouthful of a word, cruciverbalist.

Since most crossword lovers are also word lovers, and most word lovers know some Latin, the creation of this word makes total sense. In fact, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a word for “someone who likes crossword puzzles”!