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Word of the Day - "alienist"

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mood: brainy
music: Plácido Domingo - Largo al Factotum (Rossini)


alienist \AY-lee-uh-nist\ noun
     : psychiatrist

Sample Usage:
     Julius Wagner von Jauregg was a gifted alienist and neurologist who was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Did You Know?
     "Alienist" looks and sounds like it should mean "someone who studies aliens," and in fact "alienist" and "alien" are related -- both are ultimately derived from the Latin word "alius," meaning "other." In the case of "alienist," the etymological trail leads from Latin to French, where the adjective "aliene" ("insane") gave rise to the noun "alieniste," referring to a doctor who treats the insane.

     "Alienist" first appeared in print in English in 1864, but it was preceded by the other "alius" descendants "alien" (14th century) and "alienate" (used as a verb since the early 16th century). "Alienist" is much rarer than "psychiatrist" these days, but at one time it was the preferred term.


My first thought when I saw this word was, "Mulder?" =)

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