Love for Words — Egress

October 20, 2013

___ Egress is another word for “exit,” especially from an enclosed space.

P.T. Barnum  of the Ringling Brothers found the word “egress” useful. In the 1840’s he owned  Scudder’s American Museum in New York City, and exhibited “500,000 natural and artificial curiosities from every corner of the globe.” The exhibit drew crowds, and many folks seemed not to want to leave. To persuade them to move on, at the end of the exhibit Mr. Ringling posted a sign “This way to the egress.” He successfully sparked their curiosity, and they followed the arrow — that led them outside. If they wanted to reenter, they’d need to pay another quarter.

“Egress” also means the act or instance of going out. For example, after a large stadium game, prudent planning by the stadium staff allows a smooth egress of fans.

Egress may also be the action of going out or emerging. At 5 p.m. we may see many a folk egress from a large office building. Or, a weary party host at 3 a.m. might raise a toast to lingering guests and say, “It’s time to egress!”

How would you find egress a useful word in your endeavors?


This Jacquée T. Writer in Residence featured Word is brought to you by Mary Rose Enderle and Richard Bogenrife in honor of the Leavenworth Kansas Veterans Affairs Hospital.

*** Jacquée T. selects and schedules each featured Word in the spirit of writing, reading, and of improved expression. Love for Words (formerly titled “Word of the Day”) support her schedule and selection as a whole, and the warm spirit of this series. Please check out the links to sponsor websites, one link provided per word, and see how they may add inspiration to your day.


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