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Ecdysiast

Definition: a striptease artist, a stripper.

Pronunciation: ec-DEY-si-ast

Origin:

Greek ekdysis  meant a stripping or casing off and was originally used scientifically in reference to serpents’ shedding skin or crustacea molting.

Why this word?

Most words we use today are somewhat modern adaptations of words much more old and ancient. Although ecdysiast sounds like one of those words, and has Greek roots- this is a very young word.

Ecdysiast was coined in the 1940’s, by the American journalist and publicist H.L Mencken who wanted to coin a “clean” word for the second oldest profession… He coined the word using the Greek root of ekdysis – the stripping or casting off of something and on the pholological model of ‘enthusiast’ and such.

So distinct was her wit and elegant striptease, that H.L. Mencken coined the term “ecdysiast” to describe her high-class act.” (Fern Siegel: Stage Door Theater Reviews: In Praise Of Patti LuPone, Gypsy, And South Pacific).

How to use the word ecdysiast in a sentence?

Ecdysiast is a noun representing, well, a stripper. I find this noun to be very dinner-friendly!

“Mother, I prefer you hear it from me than from the neighbors- I am dating an ecdysiast. That’s it. Can you pass the salt?”

Mother: “An ecdysiast? That’s lovely, I always wanted to become one!” [then quietly to her husband: “what is it…?”]

Here is the salt honey!

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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for UnusedWords.com. Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.

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