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Word of the Day
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Definitions for Aesopian

  1. conveying meaning by hint, euphemism, innuendo, or the like: In the candidate's Aesopian language, “soft on Communism” was to be interpreted as “Communist sympathizer.”
  2. of, relating to, or characteristic of Aesop or his fables: a story that points an Aesopian moral.

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Citations for Aesopian
Gauss taught that past political thinkers wrote in a kind of code--an Aesopian language of double or multiple meanings--in order to avoid persecution in their own day and to communicate with contemporaries and successors who knew how to read between the lines, as it were. Terence Ball, Rousseau's Ghost, 1998
By then, some Soviet writers had learned to use the Aesopian language, with its hints and euphemisms, to get their books into print. Elena Gorokhova, "Beyond Banned: Books That Survived the Censors," NPR, March 30, 2011
Origin of Aesopian
1870-1875
The English adjective Aesopian has multiple origins. The Latin adjective has the forms Aesōpīus and Aesōpēus, from Greek Aisṓpeios, derivative adjective of the proper name Aísōpos (Aesop). Aesop was a Greek slave who supposedly lived c620 b.c.–c560b.c. on the island of Samos and told animal fables that teach a lesson, e.g., “The Tortoise and the Hare.” Aesopian entered English in the late 17th century.