Word for Wednesday: Comeuppance

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This week’s Word for Wednesday originated in 1859 and is seldom used today, but does crop up from time to time. When growing up I always wondered what it meant as the unfamiliar lilt of the word meant that it became a kind of earworm.


The noun comeuppance describes a ‘punishment that someone deserves’; its sister is the equally delightful phrase ‘just deserts’.

The word comes from the act of presenting yourself at a court hearing before a tribunal for judgment: ‘to come up’.

The word always reminds me of old movies where the antagonist (bad guy) always ends up losing in the end.

Can you think of a film where the villain doesn’t get his comeuppance?

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28 Jan 2015
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