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Word of the Day
Monday, April 20, 2015

Definitions for atticism

  1. concise and elegant expression, diction, or the like.
  2. the style or idiom of Attic Greek occurring in another dialect or language.
  3. attachment to Athens or to the style, customs, etc., of the Athenians.

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Citations for atticism
…and it is distinct to me that the purity was challenged by a friend of the house, and without -- pathetically enough! -- provoking the only answer, the plea that the missing Atticism would have been wasted on young barbarians. Henry James, A Small Boy and Others, 1913
To contribute his fair share to the enjoyment of the meal, M. de Norpois now served up for us several stories which his diplomatic colleagues were familiar with, some of them featuring the sesquipedalianism of a certain politician known for his preposterous utterances larded with mixed metaphors, others featuring the epigrammatic brevity of a diplomat who was a master of elegant Atticism. Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, translated by James Grieve, 2002
Origin of atticism
1605-1615
Atticism comes from the Greek word Attikismós which means "a siding with Athens" or "an Attic expression." Since Attic was the language of the Greek capital Athens, it also came to be associated with fine speech.