Thursday, 23 October 2008


"Former name of Ceylon + -ITY; coined by Horace Walpole upon the title of the fairy-tale The Three Princes of Serendip, the heroes of which 'were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of'. The faculty of making happy and unexpected discoveries by accident."

From my trusty companion, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 1933. Reprinted with corrections 1959.

The Three Princes of Serendip on Wikipedia

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