I love this word; I always have and I don’t know why.
defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window
I’ve always seen it used to mean something like ‘thrown under the bus’ or ‘thrown to the wolves’, often in a political context. Come to find out, the political aspect is extremely important – defenestration (at least originally) refers to an act of dissent/resistance. From Wikipedia’s entry on the two Defenestrations of Prague:
At Prague Castle on May 23, 1618, an assembly of Protestants (led by Count Thurn) tried two Imperial governors, Wilhelm Grav Slavata (1572â€“1652) and Jaroslav Borzita Graf Von Martinicz (1582â€“1649), for violating the Letter of Majesty (Right of Freedom of Religion), found them guilty, and threw them, together with their scribe Philip Fabricius, out of the high windows of the Bohemian Chancellery. They landed on a large pile of manure and all survived unharmed.
A great find while poking around learning about the whys and wherefores of todays word – The Defenestrator – a comic book superhero who carries around a window through which he chucks baddies.
My Thirty Years War pseudonym? Baron Defenestratus von Hohenfall (patron of manure piles everywhere)…