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Word of the day: Zetetick

Yesterday was a fabulous first day at the 2016 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy — enthusiastic engaged students in every room of the Downtown Salt Lake Hilton learning about the law, and DNA, and land research, and church records and so much more.

BlacksThe Legal Genealogist is privileged to be coordinating the course in advanced legal concepts, and yesterday also had guest appearances (so to speak) in the advanced DNA course (a case study) and the advanced land class (the law of the land) — and it’s just so much fun.

And it’s going to be hard to beat the plenary session last night by Rev. Dr. David McDonald — RevDave to his friends — who gave a rousing and hilarious talk on thinking genealogically.

But the schedule for the week is daunting, and time for writing hard to find. So to keep the dust devils at bay, here we go: the word of the day.


No, I did not make it up.

You can look it up if you’d like.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary, it means “proceeding by inquiry.”1

Yeah, I know.

I didn’t find that all that useful either.

If you look it up in modern dictionaries, it simply says it’s an archaic form of zetetic.2 And looking up zetetic, it says it’s either an adjective (seeking; proceeding by inquiry) or a noun (a skeptic).3

Which, I suppose, since every one of the definitions says the word use is rare, is about as good as we’re going to get

At least when — in the law — we go on beyond zebra.


  1. Henry Campbell Black, A Dictionary of Law (St. Paul, Minn. : West, 1891), 1253, “zetetick.”
  2. See e.g. Your Dictionary ( : accessed 11 Jan 2016), “zetetick.”
  3. Ibid., “zetetic.”
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