This word is a total fucking clown. Look at all those silent consonants, just begging to confuse foreigners vainly attempting to understand this ridiculous language. It is pronounced “AP-uh-them” and is the preferred British English spelling to the more common apothegm, which isn’t at all common, except in GRE study guides. In fact, it is possible this word was invented by ETS just to make sure you don’t get into Harvard.

An apophthegm is a short, witty saying. It comes from the Greek apophthengesthai, “to speak one’s opinion frankly” which is from the Greek phthengesthai which means “to speak”, which in turn is from the caveman phthgmsthgmithththph, which means “mountain bear ate heap many cavechildren today, Tonk must shag for survival of cavefamily”, the antecedent, of course, being the coelecanth pptplptltl,  which has no direct English translation, although scholars believe it can be translated as “the actual sinking feeling you get when it dawns on you that you have tiny parasites living on your adipose lobe-fin right before your big fish date with the captain of the fishfootball team, but then you’re eaten by a shark so it doesn’t matter anyway”. Contrary to what you hear on the 24-hour news cycle, coelecanths have a very complex language.

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