Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Verba Fata Definition:

Latin: faded, obsolete words.

The New York Court of Appeals, in Eckhardt v The People, adopted these words:

"... we are not living in the days of Shakespeare,  nor is our vocabulary what was when the 70 as a of the Bible into the linkage of the people.  Hundreds of words and expressions used by them were long relegated to the limbo of verba fata -  fated words, words doomed to die at the moment better ones come to take their places.

"Obsolete words ...  may be laudably revived when they are more sounding or more significant than those in practice.

" The day has come when we have no reason to be ashamed of our language, when it is unnecessary for us to resort to the waste paper basket of the past for ...  significant symbols of our thoughts...."


  • Eckhardt v The People, 86 N.Y. 462 (1881, New York Court of Appeals). Also quoted at 23 Alb. L. J. 144 (1881)

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