A blog about words and dictionaries, as I read the Oxford English Dictionary and post a daily word of interest.
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
[Latin axinomantia from Greek axinomanteia, from axiné axe]
Divination by means of an axe-head.
The movement of an axe can be a very reliable means of divination. For example, seeing an axe arcing toward you from the hand of a Viking raider portends that a great, skull-splintering change is about to befall you. Suddenly this axinomancy lark doesn't seem so bird-brained after all, does it?