Where does the word “Soliloquy” come from and What does Soliloquy mean?

St. Augustine, one of the most renowned fathers of the Christian Church, was, in his youth, rather a dissolute profligate.

After embracing Christianity in his early thirties, though, he became a most devout member of the faith, eventually being awarded a bishopric.

He was always a prolific writer, and many of the books of his later life were strongly introspective and devoted to criticism of his wanton youth.

One of his books was entitled Liber Soliloquiorum (freely translated, “Book in which I talk to myself”), whereby he coined a word compounded from solus, “alone,” and loqui, “to speak.”

As Augustine was not the first, nor yet the last, to talk to himself, his new word was found to be quite useful, and it lives today in our soliloquy, “a talk to oneself.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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