Weekly Word: Fustigate

To fustigate means “to beat with a club” or “to criticize harshly”. It derives from the Latin word fustis, meaning “club”, and agere, meaning “to do”.

Unfortunately, fustigate has always been a rare word. World Wide Words found that even back in 1896, the Oxford English Dictionary described it as “humorously pedantic”.

But fustigate seems to have made a comeback. Some word-lovers have humorously used it in such phrases as “go fustigate yourself”. Personally, I’m bored of our overused profanities, so I’m all for replacing them with rare literary words! Did you know that some French-speaking Canadians use “commonplace Catholic terms” as swear words?