Word: quotidian

Pronunciation: kwoh-TI-dee-ən

Part of Speech: adjective


  1. of or occurring every day; daily
  2. ordinary or everyday

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

This is one of those words I like because they sound “fancy”. After all, what’s the fun of always considering common occurrences “everyday” when I can sometimes think of them as “quotidian”? It’s a pretty cool word to have in my vocabulary arsenal. I do have to wonder, though: is it ironic that the use of the word itself is uncommon in speech?

“Quotidian” refers to what happens on a daily basis, or to what is commonplace in a mundane way. The word stems from the Latin adjective quotidianus, meaning “everyday” or “ordinary”. Originally written cotidianus, the root of this adjective is the adverb cotidie “daily”.

In my opinion, “quotidian” sounds like a word that a character with a higher education would use. It’s easier to imagine a professor speaking of “quotidian” events while his students define the same occurrences as “everyday”. Still, it probably also fits well in narrative text, so it really depends on how you want to work it into your stories. Enjoy writing about the “quotidian” events in your plots!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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