pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Word of the Day for Tuesday June 28, 2005

woebegone \WOE-bee-gon\, adjective:
1. Beset or overwhelmed with woe; immersed in grief or sorrow; woeful.
2. Being in a sorry condition; dismal-looking; dilapidated; run-down.

Socrates, condemned to death by the people of Athens, prepares to drink a cup of hemlock, surrounded by woebegone friends.
    --Alain De Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy

This woebegone lot includes Henry, a real-estate developer whose dream project has, like his marriage, slipped into bankruptcy; Henry's sister, Wiloma, who has hurled herself headlong into the arms of a New Age church to survive her own divorce; and Henry and Wiloma's decrepit Uncle Brendan, a former monk whose faith has eroded along with his health, stranding him in a nursing home.
    --Jennifer Howard, review of The Forms of Water, by Andrea Barrett, [New York Times, June 13, 1993

After 40 years as a producer he thinks of himself as a battered, scarred but well-armoured animal, "like an old turtle"; and if such creatures could speak they would probably sound like [him], a bit woebegone but drolly unsurprised by life's vicissitudes.
    --"Time for another Hugo hit," Times (London), May 22, 2000


Woebegone is from Middle English wo begon, from wo (from Old English wa, used to express grief) + begon, past participle of begon, "to go about, to beset," from Old English began, bigan, from bi-, "around, about" + gan, "to go."


4. Entry and Pronunciation
Tags: dictionary

  • Still Not Home

    I talked a nurse into weighing me by piggybacking on another resident's trip to the weight room. I am off the iv, and the head of nurses came in…

  • Tempest in a Teapot

    After the first week here at the Osage Rehab, some of the aides helped me change my bed around. When I first got here, the head of my bed was in the…

  • Long Time Gone

    I should have gone to the doctor's office back in November when my first symptoms appeared, but my youngest sister, who used to be a nurse,…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.