Word of the Day: domicile
domicile (noun) DAH-muh-syle
1 : a dwelling place : place of residence : home
2 a : a person’s fixed, permanent, and principal home for legal purposes
b : the place where a corporation is actually or officially established
“I got married, when I was 66, to David Bale…. I thought the women’s movement has struggled for 25 years to allow marriage to be an equal partnership, so I no longer had to give up my name, my domicile, my credit rating, so why not? — Gloria Steinem, quoted in The Scottish Daily Mail, 29 Feb. 2016
“Meese estimates he moved 20 times during his 32-year military career. While he could have chosen a number of states for his residence, he elected to keep Texas—where he bought his first house—as his domicile.” — Maryalene LaPonsie, U.S. News & World Report, 11 Mar. 2016
Did You Know?
Domicile traces to Latin domus, meaning “home,” and English speakers have been using it as a word for “home” since at least the 15th century. In the eyes of the law, a domicile can also be a legal residence, the address from which one registers to vote, licenses a car, and pays income tax. Wealthy people may have several homes in which they live at different times of the year, but only one of their homes can be their official domicile for all legal purposes.
When I think of the word domicile, I automatically think of home. My home, your home, anyone’s home. Homes are different for everyone. They may be the grandest estate in the country, or it may be a cardboard box in an abandoned subway tunnel. It may be a long haul truckers cab, or it may be the RV roaming the back roads from city to city. Domiciles are personal preferences for where a person lives, whether by desire or necessity.
But domiciles can be much more than that. In my house, a modest 55+ ranch, our domicile is not so much the house, it’s the bedroom. We spend a lot of time there. It’s a place to sleep; it’s a place to hang out; it’s a place to make love, and it’s an erotic playroom for consenting adults.
A domicile is one’s home and their castle. Most importantly, home is where the heart is.
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