'Sputative:' Say it, don't spray it - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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'Sputative:' Say it, don't spray it

(WAFF) -

Do you drool in your sleep? Or do you have a tendency to spit when you speak?

Do you just spit a lot in general?

You may be considered a "sputative" sort due to your proclivity to produce saliva.

It's an old word that has fallen out of favor with the modern linguists - which is not to say we haven't all come across one or two sputative acquaintances in our lives.

It's first use, according to the fine fact-miners at Mental Floss, was about 1639. The Oxford English Dictionary sites a passage in a 1672 publication as an example of its use:

"...to see whether I could pick out any counsel to allay that Sputative Symptome which yet remaineth upon me from my obstruction of the spleen."

A copy of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published in 1913, has "sputative" listed, but is not in the online Webster's catalogue.

Mental Floss' article suggests reviving the use of "sputative" when complaining about the gossiper in your workplace or social life. That'll definitely set tongues wagging.

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