Matutolypea (noun)
Pronunciation: [m-tu-t-l-'pee-]

Definition: A rare word for an everyday occurrence: ill-humor in the mornings, getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

Usage: Occasionally, we include a non-word in our Word of the Day series just to demonstrate the line we see between words and non-words (others may disagree). The Web has made it possible for everyone to publish words, genuine or not. Beware today's word: it is cute but not authentically derived.

Suggested Usage: This is obviously a facetiously concocted word that mixes Latin and Greek in a way impossible in either language. This is why it does not occur in any English dictionary, not even the Merriam-Webster, which accepts pretty much any word it bumps into. It is not clear why the concepts "dawn" + "grief" would refer to getting up on the wrong side of the bed rather than a sad dawn, a sad greeting to the dawn, etc. But there are even problems with the selection of the stems.

Etymology: Today's derivation was based on "Matuta" of Matuta Mater, the Roman goddess of the dawn, newborn babies, and harbors plus the Greek word for "grief, sorrow," lype. (The Latin word for morning is "aurora," also the chief goddess of dawn.) The Greek word for morning and the goddess of morning is "eos," so eostugia "morning sullenness," would be a more consistent derivation for the target meaning, though there is no evidence such a word was used in Greece. Of course, if "stick-to-it-iveness" can become an English word, so can today's, but we would recommend waiting to see if this word sticks.


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