In a Word: Nonage

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. Use it in a sentence in a comment on his blog, You Don't say, and the best sentence will be featured next week. This week's word:


We leave the Greek this week for the comfort of the French, whose combination of non and age should give a broad hint about the meaning of the word. Your nonage, pronounced NAHN-ij, is your youth, that period of immaturity before you took on the dignities and responsibilities and multitudinous annoyances of adult estate.

Example: He turned to newspapering — there was no honest work available — in his nonage, and as age crept upon him, he could not extricate himself from the toils of newsprint, deadlines, and weak but bitter newsroom coffee.

From last week: Two submissions for chthonic cannot be ignored.

The first was by SusanMH: "From politics spitefully chthonic, / We seek distractions as tonic. / The news we can use / Is all about shoes. / O'Donnell or Manolo Blahnik?

The second was from ddfairchild: "Tarzan stalked the damp, fetid ruins of the ancient temple, searching for the hunchbacked priestess that had stolen Jane for a sacrificial offering in her unspeakable chthonic rites."

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