Today's word of the day is funambulism, F-U-N-A-M-B-U-L-I-S-M. Funambulism is a noun that means tightrope walking or a display of mental agility.
Tightrope walking was a highly popular spectacle in ancient Rome. So it's no surprise that the language generally spoken by the Romans, Latin, would give us the word for this act of daring. Funis (FOO nis) is Latin for rope, and ambulare (am byoo LAHR ay) means walk.
Funambulism may literally refer to the act of tightrope walking or it may be metaphorically used to indicate a feat of mental gymnastics that could be just as tricky, such as: When George was caught sleeping in history class, I wanted to see him talk his way out of a trip to detention. Sure enough he dazzled us all with an act of funambulism by convincing Mrs. Sharpe that he'd been up all night caring for his sick grandmother.
Once again, funambulism is spelled F-U-N-A-M-B-U-L-I-S-M.