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Just For Fun: Egregious
"Professor Hogben... is unwilling to look 'egregious' up in the dictionary and see what it means."
George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"

People keep using the word "egregious", which does not mean what they often think it means. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

  • e·gre·gious ( \i-ˈgrē-jəs\ IPA: /ɪˈɡriː.dʒəs/ or /əˈɡriː.dʒi.əs/)Pronounced  adj. 1 archaic : distinguished 2 : conspicuous; especially : conspicuously bad : flagrant <egregious errors>. Latin egregius, from e- + greg-, grex herd
    • e·gre·gious·ly adverb
    • e·gre·gious·ness noun

You'll see this word used often on This Very Wiki. Repeatedly used, you could even say (and egregiously at that). It's almost as if people are looking for reasons to put it in, as if it were the trigger for some kind of pleasurable behavior. The word itself has become a somewhat Discredited Meme, as more instances of its use are linked to this page than not. Now drink up!

Perhaps people want to look learnèd or perhaps it's just a really fun word to say. Go ahead, try it! So, instead of saying "This series is a particularly bad example in that...", you get "This series is particularly egregious in that..." (Note that the usage is usually correct according to the dictionary definition, although "particularly" is redundant, even weakening.) Alternatively, it's a way of using an Unusual Euphemism.


Waldorf: People sure seem to like the word "egregious".
Statler: That's because it describes them!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!

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alternative title(s): Egregious
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