Friday, September 23, 2011

Word of the day: omnibus

From Anu Garg’s A.Word.A.Day, it’s omnibus:


noun: 1. A volume reprinting several works by one author or works on one theme. 2. A public vehicle designed to carry a large number of people.
adjective: Including or dealing with many things at once.

From French, from Latin omnibus (for all). Ultimately from the Indo-European root op- (to work, produce) that is also the ancestor of words such as opera, opulent, optimum, maneuver, manure, operose and inure. Earliest documented use: 1829.
Omnibus was the name of a weekly television show that ran from 1953 to 1961. The description at the Museum of Broadcasting makes me want to go out and buy what’s available of Omnibus on DVD. Here’s one brief sample from YouTube, with Leonard Bernstein making a blues chorus from two lines of Macbeth.

comments: 4

Sean said...

There is also the somewhat rare, harmonic example in the "omnibus progression."

Michael Leddy said...

Neat. I just tried out one of the examples in the Wikipedia article.

Marzek said...

From the adjectival sense, we get the restaurant's "bus boy," formerly omnibus boy -- certainly someone who is expected to do many things at once!

Michael Leddy said...

Marzek, that’s the best thing I’ve learned all week. Thank you!