Funny how current events tend to influence your first glimpse of a word… no?

From a friend:

Isn’t it amazing how one’s name encapsulates one’s peripetatic behavior?

Word of the Day:



verb tr.: To walk about.

From Latin ob- (towards, against) + ambulare (to walk). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ambhi- (around) that is also the source of ambulance, alley, preamble, and bivouac. The first print citation of the word is from 1614.

Think of the real pronunciation as OB-AMBULATE and it will sound more… well.. Latin.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mitch#2 says:

    and now in a sentence…….Then I am going to use it and see how many people get it..Will be interesting to use an unused word and then explain, broadening everyone’s knowledge..One word a week!

  2. Geremia says:

    I think “perambulate” is the non-archaic variant.

  3. Howard says:

    Last year I wrote up a test for my physics students. In one question, a woman was pushing a stroller, only I could not remember the word “stroller” at the time; all I could think of was “perambulator”.

    My students would not agree that “perambulate” is non-archaic!

  4. EDG says:

    Too funny! Well, it sort of describes the perambulations of a borderline sociopathic personality as it attempts to find its latest image.

    That’s OK. My bishop (Galeone of St. Augustine) actually wrote an excellent statement on political choices and ordered it to be published in every bulletin or read from the pulpit last Sunday the 19th or next. He actually came out and said that life is the only issue. Maybe the Obamulation is not going to get the Catholics of St. Augustine!

  5. William A. Torchia, Esquire says:

    Fr Z:

    I did an MA in classics before Law School, and REALLY appreciate your love for Latin and your continuing to keep it up and provide us with such thorough information. I loved teaching classes for awhile, then came Law School. Your comment on Indo European origin of a word reminds me of my History of the Latin Language Course in Grad Schoool. Keep it up. Spero fore ut magis loqui de lingua Latina possimus, etiamque scribere pro invicem Latine.
    Coamator Linguae Latinae,

    Will Torchia :>)

  6. David2 says:


    “Pram” – an abbreviation of “perambulator” is still used here in the colonies. Although “stroller” is taking over, as Americanisms tend to do…

  7. Missy says:

    I’m fine with obambulate, as long as we don’t Obamanate.

  8. Christopher says:

    Peripatetic behavior, why are we using greek words to describe sufficiently clear latin ones?!

    Though I yeild to the age old questions, the angels do speak greek…

    …but God speaks in Latin.

    God bless you!
    Holy Mary protect you.

  9. Kevin A. says:

    Sounds like it could mean emulation of Obama.

    But seriously, I really, really, REALLY hope we don’t elect him. I’m offering up Rosaries for this election. We could finally get Roe v. Wade overturned with one more conservative on the Supreme Court, but that will never happen if we have a president that supports legalized infanticide.

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