Words that seem risque

This weeks theme in Anu Garg’s (wordsmith.org) A.Word.A.Day mailing list is words that seem risque. Today’s word was “vomitorium” and for some reason, the word reminded me of strausmouse. It sounds risque, but would you believe that a vomitorium is actually:

A passageway to the rows of seats in a theater.

It comes from the Latin word vomitorium, from vomere (to discharge). Vomitoria in ancient amphitheater helped the audience reach their seats quickly, and also leave the theater with equal speed (hence the name).

When I first saw the word, I suspected the definition was something like:

(1) A room in which strausmouse had done too much drinking; (2) a piece of female undergarments into which strausmouse had thrown up.

I’m glad to see it means something else.

Published by Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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