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June 28, 2019 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Pandemonium"
Definition--Pandemonium- n. 1. a place of anarchy. 2. wild confusion, commotion, chaos.

Discussion--Pandemonium is a word that was originally coined by John Milton, the great British writer, in the epic poem Paradise Lost (c. 1665). Milton used this term to refer to hell. Literally, pandemonium means the "place of all demons." We now use the term to refer to places that are like hell, or what we imagine hell to be. Pandemonium is also used to refer to a state of confusion and chaos.

Pandemonium is often capitalized because the origin of the word is a proper noun. It is grammatically acceptable to use either case, but more often than not you will see it used as a proper noun. Well, which is it, capital or lower case? I am confused, I don't know what to do, this is chaos...this is...Pandemonium!!!

If you watch a lot of sporting events you have undoubtedly heard the word Pandemonium. It is one of the favorite words of many sportscasters, including Marv Albert and Bob Costas. Often times after an exciting victory when the triumphant team is celebrating, Bob Costas can be heard yelling above the celebration: "The players are going wild, they are ecstatic, it's Pandemonium out on the court!"

Pandemonium can also be used as a euphemism for the word "hell." It is definitely a more acceptable word to use in public, and it makes a nice substitute, but...somehow the phrase "all Pandemonium is breaking loose" just loses some of the flair of the original phrase. That's just my opinion, though.

Etymology--Pandemonium is a term originally coined in Milton's Paradise Lost. The literal meaning of the word is the "place of all demons."


   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  volstrekte verwarring (de)
French:  tohu-bohu (m)
German:  Pandemonium (nt)
Italian: pandemonio
Spanish: pandemonio

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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