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Throwing vs. Jumping vs. Falling[edit]

I can see where jumping out a window can be considered (auto)defenestration, since there is intent. But what about falling out accidentally? The etymology of the word, though not an infallible guide to meaning, indicates that any act of coming from a window is included. Yet all the definitions I've seen only include cases where there is intent. If it includes cases where there is no intent, then cases like Eutychus from the Bible and Conor Clapton would not be included. On the other hand, [1] ("Maxillofacial trauma by defenestration: 64 cases") includes all situations of exiting through windows, including the accidental ones which it calls "accidental" defenestration. Fool4jesus (talk) 20:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Does suicide constitute defenestration?[edit]

I've seen the term used many times before in the context of throwing oneself from a window, including several examples within this very article. However, it seems a tad difficult to literally throw your own body in such a fashion. Is it proper, then, to cite defenstration for the act of jumping through said window? --AWF

I agree, I don't think the act of jumping out of a window is properly called 'defenestration'. dab () 11:04, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Granted this is an old discussion, but shouldn't this be called "autodefenestration"? =) --Dennis The Tiger (Rawr and stuff) 01:45, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
But if the suicides are forced by an external event, such as a fire that would kill you if you didn't jump, is that autodefenestration or a proper defenestration? (talk) 14:24, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Since jumping is an act of throwing, as are kicking through the air and other acts of propulsion through air or space, suicide does indeed constitute defenestration. (talk) 15:01, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Can we get a definition from a dictionary that says throwing would include jumping, kicking, etc? I doubt we can. Ratemonth (talk) 16:47, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Can we get a definition that explicitly rules jumping, kicking, etc. out? (talk) 16:54, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
"Defenestrated himself" "Defenestrated herself"Rickyrab | Talk 17:07, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

(Rickyrab has now signed in from Without any sources to rule it out, or confirm it, the problem is that I see no reason to exclude acts of self-defenestration from the article on defenestration, but there seems to be a growing consensus for exclusion, although not based on reason, strictly speaking. — Rickyrab | Talk 16:58, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

It's like the whole Pluto = dwarf planet nonsense that the IAU stirred up. At least they tried to arrive at a good definition of "planet". The trouble I had with it was the contention that a dwarf planet was not a planet, because to me, the phrase "dwarf planet" consisted of an adjective and a noun, so "dwarf" described "planet". — Rickyrab | Talk 17:01, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

um, Geronimo?Rickyrab | Talk 17:20, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

autocide-defenestrationRickyrab | Talk 17:23, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Is the complement refenestration?[edit]

I was wondering if the word "refenestration" exists. If so, then the procedure to restart Microsoft Windows could be succinctly written as...

How to Stop and Restart Microsoft Windows 1. Defenestrate Windows 2. Refenestrate Windows

Alas, the semantic denotation of the verb "to defenestrate" eviscerates your witticism. The window itself is not the implied recipient of the act of defenestration, but rather the unfortunate soul who's thrust through it. The window is simply the facilitator—means to an end. So to defenestrate Windows? Seems slightly redundant and inaccurate grammatically. Although, I suppose one could literally throw copies of the Windows OS software from a window … SumeragiNoOnmyouji 09:13, 19 September 2007 (UTC) ;) — SheeEttin {T/C} 20:39, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Is the computer stuff necessary?[edit]

I don't really see how it relates to defenestration, at least historically. Maybe there should be a separate article on computing defenestration...

It's a case of a word aquiring a new meaning; recording a language changing is always relevant, and (MS) Windows now rules many of our lives. I think the two on the same page is interesting. Graldensblud 18:11, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Got Rid of Cleanup[edit]

I think it's safe to say this page has been sufficiently cleaned up...

Re-Ordered movies[edit]

They are in chronological order now. Childsplay (1988) was at the bottom

Pop Culture[edit]

These lists are entirely unecessary to this article. It doesn't even need mentioning that people are thrown out of windows in films. An anonymous user readded these; they're welcome to discuss why they think they should be included, otherwise I'll keep removing them.

--Whamilton42 18:52, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Likewise, you're welcome to discuss why you think they should be removed, otherwise, people will keep adding them.
They're fun.
It goes without saying that people are thrown out of windows, period. That's no reason to exclude the Defenestrations of Prague, and it's no reason to exclude the Defenestrations of Die Hard.
Why are you just removing films? Why not the other forms of popular culture, such as comics and television? And while you're removing the most memorable and notable defenestrations from the defenestration article, why not go the whole hog and remove all that boring historical stuff, too? TheMadBaron 03:08, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I left a few comic and television examples as I thought from their wording they might be notable. For example, the.. "In the "Art Attack" episode of Dark Angel, Mr. Develia orders one of his men to defenestrate a man who failed to deliver his Norman Rockwell painting." I thought may be perhaps be a literal order to "defenestrate that man!" which would merit inclusion. Likewise, the comic-hero Defenestrator is relevant. The other film and television references you've reinserted are entirely spurious - just what purpose does listing every instance in popular culture of people being thrown out of windows achieve? The reader knows that it happens, they don't need a list. Like you said, it goes without saying that people are thrown out of windows.
The historical examples are of course valid; the Defenestrations of Prague are (in)famous and probably how most people come across the word. The trouble with including so much popular culture is that all the interesting information gets lost, like the actual Defenestration related mentions in the Music and Comic sections.
Heh, I just checked your userpage. Call yourself a deletionist! :p
--Whamilton42 16:19, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

I see your point, but it seems to me that whether the word "defenestrate" is actually used in these song/TV shows/movies is wholly irrelevant, because this is an article about the act of defenestration, not the word "defenestrate". I doubt very much that anybody actually used that word while they were lobbing the good Bishop of Lisbon to his doom. The word is commonly used in reference to the Defenestrations of Prague, but that's the only example that carries any greater academic weight than anything else in the article. The rest is just filler.

I'm not sure I'd agree that the pop culture lists are entirely unecessary to this article, any more than the rest of the content is entirely unecessary to this article. Since the whole article consists of defenestration trivia, I think it's more true to say that the article itself is entirely unecessary to Wikipedia. We could just redirect to Defenestrations of Prague, and be done with it, with no great loss.

I would strongly oppose this, of course.

The real reason I want all this stuff here (for now), to be honest, is that I love the fact that Wikipedia has an article about defenestration at all - like Pizza delivery (another wonderfully pointless article with an unbelievably pointless popular culture section), it's exactly the kind of thing that Wikipedia can do which the Encyclopædia Britannica can't (because Wikipedia is not paper), and which Wikipedia should do, not because it's necessary, but just because it can....

....But the sad truth of the matter is that without an extensive popular culture section, I don't think there's very much that can be said about defenestration without resorting to trivia. :(

I'd love to be proven wrong, and I'll be the first to advocate removing the bulk of the pop culture list in that event.

The purpose achieved by listing instances in popular culture of people being thrown out of windows is, admittedly, largely one of entertainment, which might not be seem to be a very noble purpose in an encyclopædia, but it has many precedents in Wikipedia (see, for example, List of energy blades, which grew from Light saber#Lightsaber like devices in other contexts, where the article about Light Sabers is, itself, utterly trivial). I'm not suggesting that every instance of defenestration in the movies should be listed, but I'm hoping that the list will grow to include a lot of meaningful content before it reaches the point where it requires trimming (and I don't think we're there yet). After all, some defenestrations must surely be counted amongst the most memorable moments of cinema history. I think that's a lot more interesting to many people than the historical defenestrations (a couple of which might well be equally fictitious). I also think there's more to be said on that subject alone.... the hero jumping through a plate glass window and carrying on, undaunted, in pursuit of the villain is a classic cliché, and really very silly, if you consider that he'd actually suffer severe lacerations and require immediate hospital treatment, if he didn't bleed to death within seconds. The fact that we find the idea of throwing people out of windows so compelling may say more about us than the fact that we've been known, from time to time, to actually do it.

Anyway, that's what I think.

And yes, I am a deletionist. If you don't believe me, go to AfD and check my voting record. :) TheMadBaron 22:52, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The "popular culture" section is slightly iffy, but quite amusing. Thats probably not very good criteria, but still. The popular children's song "Threw It Out the Window" inserts incongruous themes of defenestration into existing nursery rhymes. - Possibly one of the best sentences on wikipedia. -- jeffthejiff 15:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Why is it not 'efenestrated'?[edit]

It suddenly struck me to wonder why it's not 'e-fenestrated', since 'e-' means 'out of' so far as I recall, and it seems it should be 'e-fenestrated' if it's 'thrown through the window'. The only reason I could think of (with my highly accurate pop-etymology qualifications) for it being 'de-fenestrated', is that 'falling *from* windows' was probably quite common back in Rome when windows were not typically furnished with glass - you're having a nice time reading your scroll in the sunshine, when you abruptly find yourself on the floor, defenestrated. SleekWeasel 15:11, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I doubt the term dates to classical Latin; it is more likely an erudite Renaissance coinage. dab () 11:06, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

Non-literal connotations[edit]

Is this word, in English, never used with symbolic or allegorical meanings, such as "to expel" or "to kick out"? I believe that in other languages it is. For example, I remember reading an article on a Romance language newspaper that said that "Roger Waters was defenestrated from Pink Floyd by the other members", or something like that. --Cotoco 04:47, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I've never heard it used like that, and I don't think such usage could be correct. Pink Floyd is not a room. TheMadBaron 03:37, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I _do_ think it is used that way. Just a quick google search conjures up a quite a few examples, especially of "political defenestration", where director, a president or government is ousted from power, not by literally throwing them out the window. The Caribbean Voice ( writes in an editorial "The preordained defenestration of Dr Jagan and his government while maintaining an official aura of propriety was a sickening exercise in cynicism.", in an interview about US intervention in Guatemala, a person says "The defenestration of Arbenz was necessary, regardless of what the tactical consequences might have been.", an article of the Guardian (UK) writes "The defenestration of Tony Blair will leave lasting bitterness in the Labour party, with many allies of the prime minister left hoping for a Tory victory." Especially if you google for "political defenestration" you can find enough references to expand the Wikipedia article. I would not be surprised if this is the main use of the word today. D6jvb 12:05, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Throwing Somone OR "Something" out a window???[edit]

Since when did defenestration apply to inanimate objects? This is news to me. I know some dictionaries say the act can be done to things, but is it ever used this way? In fact, is the word ever used at all, except as a humorous novelty? I'm tempted to remove the "or something," because it doesn't sit right with me.....--The Fat Man Who Never Came Back 15:32, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Defenestration has always been applicable to inanimate objects, dictionaries concur, and the word is sometimes used in this way, albeit as a humorous novelty. Please leave it as it is. TheMadBaron 07:10, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


"Defenestration is often fatal."-- It makes sense for the historical cases, but wouldn't that depend on how high up the window is, what lies below the window, if the window is open or closed etc.?--Spyderchan 02:35, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

And indeed the presence of gravity, relative buoyancy of the living thing in the atmosphere, the mortality of the subject in question, etc. Defenestration is a popular way for dispatching carrier pidgeons, and they survive. (Defenestrate a corpse and it's hardly fatal!) Graldensblud 21:40, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The Departed[edit]

In the departed Queenan was thrown off the top of the building. Not through a window.

Chet Baker[edit]

Due to the dubious circumstances of Chet Baker death, of which the point of origin and impact being of the few certainties, I think he may warrant mention. 06:37, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Involuntary self-defenestration: Izzy the Push[edit]

The novelist William S. Burroughs mentioned "defenestration syndrome" in the Paris Review interview: The uncontrollable (and very rare) compulsion to throw oneself out a window, especially the window of a skyscraper. His character "Izzy the Push" suffers from this disorder.

It may be a subtype of Alien Hand Syndrome, and Burroughs might not be using the correct term.

I can't find a source, but I think it'd be an interesting addition to the article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:57, 18 March 2007 (UTC).

— So, I suppose that "defenestration syndrome by proxy" would be the uncontrollable (and more likely potentially repeatable) compulsion to throw someone else out of a window. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Removing the trivia section[edit]

I removed the "in popular culture" trivia section as Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. It is not of encyclopedic value to list every single time some cartoon character throws something out the window. Krimpet (talk/review) 02:56, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Granted but it is worth mentioning some popular culture references to defenestration so I added back The Deefenstrator and the test done in CSI has relevance some of the criminal cases metnioned (although I doubt the actual science matches up in real life). If things get back to the "big fat list of people thrown from windows" then I'll drop a commented out note in to ask people not to. (Emperor 12:56, 26 April 2007 (UTC))

Cylons, Defenestrated?[edit]

Could one say that the act of 'throwing them out the airlock' in the modern Battlestar Galactica could constitute as defenestration?


Mention of Jezebel and her defenestration needs a reference to the symbolism of the window itself, out of which she was thrown. The link from the Jezebel article to "windows" themselves, could also benefit from this fact, that royalty were often symbolized as royalty (certainly in Jezebel's time) precisely by portraiture of the royal standing in / framed by a window. There is an actual artifact called Jezebel's bed, an ivory bedframe, so called because one of the legs has a placque on it picturing a woman framed in a window. The woman was painted very elaborately (so Jezebel to this day was the first "painted lady," a derogatory term resulting from her terrible reputation.

Point being that it was happily convenient for her executioners that there was a window out of which they could throw Jezebel, the act being all the more obvious -- that she was being executed for being such a terrible queen.

As Isaac Asimov pointed out, there is no evidence that Jezebel was a "terrible queen" or had a "terrible reputation". She was killed by a usurper and history was written by the victors. Even the Bible is ambivalent whether the murder was defensible. 2001:558:6011:1:B1EC:E5CB:CEB4:18A4 (talk) 04:43, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

To the "windows" article it could be added that windows were a symbol of royalty for obvious reasons (but symbols none the less): if you are an important person (a royal), and people want to see you, you need to wave to them from either a window or a door, so usually a window. Examples: The Queen from Buckingham Palace, the Pope from his apartment, or Ronald Regan from his hospital room. The portraiture of Jezebel in a window on her bed is an example that the window was in fact a symbol of royalty. Gary Sturni, St. George's, Germantown, TN

Silly term[edit]

This seems like a real strange word to me. Do we really need a technical term for throwing something out a window? Doesn't it only serve to make it harder to understand? e.g. "I'd like defenestrate my boss" The snare (talk) 02:55, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

No, we don't. The term has often been treated as a joke, as the article says. 2001:558:6011:1:B1EC:E5CB:CEB4:18A4 (talk) 04:43, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Another definition[edit]

According to this page, defenestration can also mean deterioration of fenestrae. --Irrevenant [ talk ] 13:03, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Good thing, otherwise the fact that "diabetes caused an increase in age-related defenestration" would be kind of depressing. (talk) 20:37, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Joan of Arc[edit]

Didn't she once jump of a 70-foot prison tower or something? (talk) 16:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be autodefenestration? — Rickyrab | Talk 17:35, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

9/11 and Triangle Shirtwaist[edit]

The causing of people to involuntarily jump out of windows is essentially an act of defenestration, as it is, indeed, an indirect act of throwing people out of windows. I included those two incidents because the defenestrations were notable parts of the events. (talk) 14:15, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Besides, even if we don't include the people who jumped, defenestration still occurred on 9/11 due to the fact that the attacks sent a fireball through the towers' windows, along with debris. (talk) 14:26, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
No. The dictionary def [2] describes it as the act of throwing someone out the window. Indirectly causing someone to jump is not that. Period. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:29, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Indirectly causing someone to jump is essentially an act of throwing. (talk) 14:30, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore, when someone jumps, his or her clothes are usually thrown out the window, as they happen to be on the person who is jumping. Thus, jumping is also an act of defenestration. (talk) 14:33, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
The dictionary definition refers to the throwing of someone or something out of a window, right? (talk) 14:34, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Jumping is not throwing. If you continue to edit war here, you will be blocked. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:36, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
We're using circular logic, both of us. What do you consider throwing to be? Jumping involves throwing. Anyhow, I restored the Ramallah incident. (talk) 14:41, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

From the Wiktionary definition of "throw":

"# (transitive) To cause an object to move rapidly through the air.

  1. (transitive) To eject or cause to fall off.
   throw a shoe
   throw a rod
   the horse threw its rider
  1. (transitive) To move to another position; to displace.
   throw the switch

It can thus be determined that jumping out of a high window is an act of throwing, as it cause objects to move through the air, and it is an act of ejecting oneself. (talk) 14:44, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

The Free Dictionary has: "1. To propel through the air with a motion of the hand or arm. (This was probably the definition of "throw" that you were thinking of, but it's not the only definition, and hands/arms were probably involved in pushing oneself out of a window.) 2. To discharge into the air by any means: a machine that throws tennis balls; ash that was thrown by an erupting volcano..." (No comment. None needed on #2, as it validates the fact that jumping out of a window is an act of throwing out of a window.) (talk) 14:49, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Even Mirriam Webster, the dictionary you were referring to, notes the act of flinging oneself as one of the definitions of "throwing", under 3a, whereas you were fixated on definition 1a. See here (talk) 14:53, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Jumping is not throwing. Period. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:53, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
And definition 1b also applies to my position. Let's face it. Jumping is throwing. Period. (talk) 14:54, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

"defenestrated himself"Rickyrab | Talk 17:04, 10 October 2009 (UTC) (signed in from

[3]Rickyrab | Talk 17:28, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
see page 3 of the document ("auto-defenestration")Rickyrab | Talk 17:32, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
Regardless of scattered instances of defenestration being used in this way (which I still don't believe is a proper usage), I have yet to see any reliable sources describing the September 11 falls or the Triangle Shirtwaist falls as defenestration. OhNoitsJamie Talk 17:48, 10 October 2009 (UTC)
While I believe it is a proper usage of the term "defenestration", I also haven't seen reliable sources describing the expulsions from windows during the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire or 9/11 as defenestration. However, I have also failed to see any article here on jumping out of windows, even though that is a notable phenomenon. (talk) 17:44, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Article created. — Rickyrab | Talk 18:37, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Found a source for 9/11, see [4]Rickyrab | Talk 19:43, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Merge of "Jumping out of windows" into "Defenestration"[edit]

Judging from the debate on deletion of Jumping out of windows, apparently the consensus was to merge it with defenestration, suggesting that the act of jumping out of a window is an act of self-defenestration, and that throwing someone or something else is not a necessary part of what it takes to consider an act of ejection from a window a defenestration. — Rickyrab | Talk 19:02, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

There is no longer a consensus that defenestration would not include jumping out of a window, but there is not yet a consensus that defenestration would include jumping out of a window. I do not consider consensus likely on either matter. Would someone please advise? — Rickyrab | Talk 19:22, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Instances of jumping out of a window being called "defenestration"[edit]

  1. "Other cases described by Mahawald involved falls from balconies, defenestration (jumping from windows)..."
  2. Distally Based Sural Fasciomuscular Flap: Anatomic Study and ... "fractures after defenestration ( jumping out of a window). She had a comminuted fracture on the right side. Immediate arthrodesis was attempted. ..."
  3. "Defenestration: A man who had been cornered in a string of recent robberies tried to escape from police by jumping out of a Schermerhorn Street motel’s second-floor window..."
  4. [ "autocide-defenestration

Suicide by jumping out of a window."]

  1. The French verb se defenestrer means to jump out of a window. "défenestrer (se) vpr/réfl to jump out of the window"
  2. "No. 3 Age 22 Poly-traumatism (suicide attempt defenestration)... No. 9 Age 49 Poly-traumatism (suicide attempt defenestration)..."
  3. "If you are 20 years and 362 days old today...At your exact age, Ruslana Korshunova died of suicide by defenestration. She was a supermodel plucked from her home at 15 for her feline, "fairy-tale" beauty."
  4. (Ambiguous)Defenestration and dehiscence: suicide or homicide?
  5. [ 1993: Le Heuzey M F; Perusson O (Attempted suicide by defenestration in children and adolescents)

Annales de pédiatrie 1993;40(8):526-31. Journal of clinical forensic medicine 1995;2(4):217-9.]

  1. more examples in academic literature.

There are also numerous examples excluding self-defenestration from their concept of defenestration. So there is evidence to support both positions. — Rickyrab | Talk 20:33, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


This seems a bit crazy.
I notice The Jumping out of windows stuff which (I assume) was moved out to resolve an issue here has been nominated for merging back into this article again.
So where does this go from here?
For my part, I’d go with the opinion it doesn’t belong here.
Defenestration means “throwing somebody or something though a window” (OED); people jumping of their own accord is something else. It is the difference between murder and suicide: I wouldn’t expect to see Suicide merged with Murder, in it’s own section entitled “Self-Murder”.
OTOH "Jumping out of windows" isn't a good title; it's begging not to be taken seriously. But I couldn’t find “Self-defenestration” in the OED, which makes it perilously close to being a neologism. Moonraker12 (talk) 12:07, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

This was decided on AFD. If you disagree with the decision, take it to deletion review; raising it here is pointless. --R'n'B (call me Russ) 13:24, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough; the header at AfD said raise the matter here, but a deletion review will do just as well. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:04, 23 October 2009 (UTC)


I've removed this:
"The term originates from the German word, fenster, meaning window, as the vernacular was German at location and at this point in history"
It contradicts the etymology in the opening paragraph; and it’s wrong, to boot. Defenestration isn’t derived from fenster at all (the OED is clear it's from Latin); if anything, fenster is derived from the Latin as well. And there isn’t a German word for defenestration (at a guess they’d use Df as a loanword) and if there was it’d probably be something like ausfensterlich (I'm guessing). Moonraker12 (talk) 12:14, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I've re-jigged the introduction and added an "Origin of Term" section to clarify what defenestration is. I've also tried to delineate the Jumping out of windows sections from the merger. I trust that's OK with everyone? Moonraker12 (talk) 14:00, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

Defenestration as an art[edit]

Okay, I've made some edits to the defenestration page and I've got the following entries on my talk page about it, might as well move it here, since it's about editing this page:

Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay.
Your change to Defenestration, which was unexplained in an edit summary, has been reverted, for the reason given. I notice you have made this change before (also without explanation) which was also reverted. If you feel your change is justified, please feel free to explain it on the talk page. Moonraker12 (talk) 12:46, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop your disruptive editing. If you continue to vandalize Wikipedia, as you did at Defenestration, you will be blocked from editing. ~ Arjun 14:38, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

So nowadays editing an article is considered vandalism? Wow, what's with this place? I thought the point of wikipedia was that anyone could edit articles. Did I miss something that somehow when I edit it's immediately "vandalism"?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 24 October 2009
No, insisting on your own way when several people have told you that you are wrong, is what is considered vandalism.
All changes here are with the agreement of others; and you are expected to act with civility in your dealings.
Your change was reverted as part of the BOLD, revert, discuss cycle: If you still think you are correct you can open a discussion on the talk page, but you will need some evidence; something more than “because I view defenestration as an art...”. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:19, 27 October 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, you denigrate my edits, insinuate egocentrism, called me a vandal, lecture me on how I should apparently know these policies I have never read before, and then have the gall to insinuate I am the one being uncivil? Are you serious? Take your own advice, you uncouth person. And by the way, "several people" have not told me I am wrong. The only person to have countered my edits with something resembling a reason was Bkkbrad, who vaguely said, "I think most people would agree it is an 'act' not an 'art'." and thus appealed to a nameless mass (who?) out there. You just said "attempted murder isn't an 'art', really." which is such a complete misrepresentation of what defenestration is I didn't think I should take that seriously. Since apparently you were being serious, here:
ONE: Defenestration is not necessarily throwing a person out of a window. It can also be an object. You can even extend it metaphorically as in "I defenestrated that idea", but that's kinda awkward. It works for some people, though.
TWO: Defenestration does not imply intent to kill, even if you throw a person.
THREE: Defenestration does not have to be done on a higher level floor. One can defenestrate from ground floor (or even under ground), where it would require an exceptionally fragile anatomy and/or a specially dangerous window for someone to be killed by being thrown through it.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 30 October 2009
Whether what is defenestrated is a person or a thing, it should not be described as an 'art.' "The 'act' of defenestration involves forcing a person or object through a window." To call it an 'art' is to give it a different meaning. If there were guilds of professional defenestrators who practised their art, I might agree, but this clearly was not the case. The biggest reason to change it to 'act' is that 'art' sounds ridiculous. Monty Python would get away with that... Tim Riches, Brampton, Ontario (talk) 09:38, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
I've listed some professionals below who do embrace defenestration as art. I think certainly it qualifies as one. - (talk) 00:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

As for sources on why defenestration is an art: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 30 October 2009

So where did you find these? Did you google “Art+Defenestration” and put down the first six? Have you even read them? None of them support your case, and two of them specifically say Defenestration is “the act of throwing something or someone out a window". Which is what the OED says.
So, do you have something that actually backs up your point? Something as reliable as the OED, for example? Or is this just trolling?. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
And now your true nature shows itself. From the very beginning, your "civility" was just an act, a thin veneer behind which to hide your contempt. You never had any interest in actually engaging me in a constructive discussion. And yes, I'm aware that some sources specifically define it as an act rather than an art, but these sources still performatively show that defenestration can very definitely be an art; that's why I listed them. In confirming the presence of defenestration as an art, they in turn confirm the validity of calling defenestration an art. Now, is there any reason for me to continue talking to you? Clearly the only person you'll take seriously is yourself and perhaps whoever agrees with you. If it's going to be like that, then all hope of constructive discourse has been lost since the beginning. - (talk) 00:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Hmm: What does anyone else think? Moonraker12 (talk) 14:22, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Clockwork Orange[edit]

The scene where he jumps out the window. Is this self-defenestration, or does it not count because there was no glass broken? phocks (talk) 01:24, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Glass is not usually broken in a defenestration  Randall Bart   Talk  00:00, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Self vs auto[edit]

The lead section says that throwing oneself out of a window is "self-defenstration", and there is a section with this in the title. But that section claims that the right word is "autodefenstration". Which is correct? Can we find sources? (Absence from dictionaries probably counts as support for the first, because words formed in the usual way aren't listed explicitly.) If both are acceptable then they should both be mentioned side-by-side at the first opportunity, and one of them (either) should be used consistently after that. Quietbritishjim (talk) 12:59, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Defenestration#Self-defenestration (jumping from height.)[edit]

Where is it defined that self-defenestration ("from a window") is equated to jumping from height? Many jumps do not involve a window, but could be from a balcony, roof, tower etc. Without a definition of self-defenestration to include ANY form of jumping, this is just WP:OR. WWGB (talk) 01:36, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Will everyone who cares please evaluate this for OR & NPOV?[edit]

I submitted an earlier version of this chunk on DF in lit and had it deleted. I edited it as suggested. How do you see it now?

Defenestration in literature[edit]

Creation of a sequipedalian term for a mundane, but capricious, choice of concept such as defenestration, has more often inspired erudite amusement than serious application. One of the most quoted examples is the poem Defenestration [1][2] by Richard Percival (R. P.) Lister [3]. It deals with a philosopher undergoing defenestration. On the way down he ruminates on why there should be a word for such an arbitrarily chosen activity as defenestration, whereas many other acts no more arbitrary remain innominate. "I concluded (said McIndoe) that the incidence of logodaedaly was purely adventitious."

Arthur C. Clarke also exploited the humour of the word in "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch".[4]

That was that., Cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 18:57, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

The tone is still too stilted. Furthermore, you still haven't addressed the notability issue of R.P. Lister. This isn't about whether or not I've heard of him; it's about whether the author and/or the work is notable enough to be included in the article based on Wikipedia guidelines. You'll noticed that all other "pop culture" items have an article associated with their primary subject. OhNoitsJamie Talk 21:20, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't know what you imagine "stilted" to mean; in my personal understanding it is something like unnatural and pretentious. My dictionary speaks of "stiff or self-conscious or unnatural", which is pretty well what I thought, but I was beginning to suspect that you might prefer to undertake to accept the assurance from someone other than me. The only unnatural attribute of that paragraph stems from your objection to the words that constituted OR, (against any sense of the term I ever have encountered, or that you could defend.) There was nothing stilted about it before. (Yes, I realise that wikispeak is not humanspeak, but if you can demonstrate the slightest hint of how one of the words I had used constitutes OR, not in strict terms necessarily, but in any way that nearly makes sense, you will strike me spechless, which some people think takes some doing. To demonstrate, all you have to do is instance any part of the document that looks less like research if you omit or reword it.)

Your Wiki "tone" article does not mention stiltedness, so I am driven to speculate that you find the words I use too difficult. If what you have been posting is your personal standard of xref or citation, you have an impressive line in of special pleading when it comes to dealing with the people you are supposed to be policing. Policing is one thing; obstruction is another.

Kindly note that in competent writing the choice of register should be sensitive both to the subject matter and the intended audience. This article isn't "simple-Wiki" or whatever the single-syllable version is called (to which I have successfully contributed at some time incidentally, and avoiding stiltedness (the genuine variety, not just loooong haaard words!) under those constraints really is challenging.) Anyone reading about "defenestration" and progressing through that article till he encounters "Defenestration in literature" is hardly likely to be dismayed by anything in the paragraph I wrote. I could have referred still more of the long words to Wiktionary, I suppose, but I was feeling uncomfortable about the risk of sounding patronising already. The other thing is that the very nature of the subject matter suits the register. If I write about a scientific matter I keep things as simple as I can; this is an article on an artificially coined word with humorous overtones and that was the tone I was matching. It is not as though this is a signed, copyrighted document; if you think that replacing half a dozen words on stilts is justified, why don't you? It would be a lot faster and less trouble than arguing till I blunder into something that will conform to your stylistic constraints!

Jamie, there are some things in WP that are absolute nonos, but a few words in a paragraph failing to conform to your personal taste in "stiltedness" is not something that you can in good sense or good conscience use to justify obstructionism or discourtesy.

As for the notability issue, this is getting ridiculous. Catch 33? You want me to refer to nothing that anyone said, who does not yet have an article in Wiki? I gave you links, citations, an FRSL, and an entry in a an internationally prominent reference source, and you say he isn't in Wiki, so he doesn't count and mustn't be quoted? I even might yet contribute an article on RPL, but if that is your standard of good faith or good sense or commitment to the objective of WP, then I want to appeal to someone else. How do I go about it? JonRichfield (talk) 13:04, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

I only skimmed this response, but I'm tired of your verbose, patronizing comments. I have an extensive vocabulary too, but I'm not going to strut about with it like a peacock. Read WP:TONE. Again. OhNoitsJamie Talk 14:39, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

The peacocks I know use only one word. I can't match them in concision, but lets try the operative request briefly enough not to weary you any more than I can help. I said: "I want to appeal to someone else. How do I go about it? --- Please?" JonRichfield (talk) 15:24, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:THIRD. OhNoitsJamie Talk 16:19, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah! OK. I almost missed this one. Thanks. JonRichfield (talk) 12:39, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
Confession: I'm not a native speaker of English, but I use the language regularly, both in my professional and private life. Sure, I can read the proposed section (at least with the help of the Wiktionary links), but what's the point? The reader may come away with a feeling of awe, maybe even envy, having watched you wallow in your impressive vocabulary the way Scrooge McDuck dives in his money bin, but he or she won't have learned much about defenestration in literature. There is a reason why people writing Wikipedia articles are referred to as editors, not poets. Favonian (talk) 16:49, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Sorry Favonian, I don't follow. Please help.

  • 1: How do you see your native tongue or non-native tongue(s) in terms of confession? I regard competence at any level in more languages than one as a matter for congratulation, not confession or apology. And if I do detect a non-native speaker in difficulty (which I certainly did not in your case) I do my best to help if I can do so without offence.
  • 2: How do you see my use of "my" vocabulary (which certainly does not impress me) as wallowing or imposing "awe or envy" in the context of that paragraph? I am sure that in your native tongue you could lose me utterly, and if you have mastered other languages as well as you have mastered English, probably in those as well. You have not, I suppose, seen what I write in other contexts, so please ask yourself whether I suitably vary the sort of thing I write before you make assumptions about my intentions. If it comes to that, do you notice any difference between what I am writing here and what I wrote in that paragraph? I am sure you are aware that one does not, in one's mother tongue at least, use the same wording for all purposes. One cannot always be writing textbooks or love letters on the same subject, right?
  • 3: I am sure that you can see that the point in this section was two-fold: addressing people who are likely to be interested in def in lit, in the tone to match the word and the examples presented and provide the examples to illustrate the point. This last item is not as easy to do as you might think, and if you can provide additional or more interesting examples, I would be grateful for more than just your improvement of the article. (Readers who are not interested will have stopped near the top of the article when they found out what "defenestration" meant, so they will not have fallen foul of that bit.) OTOH, if they did take enough interest, as you seem to have done, then at the end they will have learned more than at the start. If they did not, then who cares? Not the reader surely. Look at it this way: suppose I tried to follow some perfectly down-to-earth mathematical work that you produced, and I complained that your work lacked point because I wasn't willing to do my homework before reading it, then I am sure that you would have little sympathy. And rightly so, I reckon. If OTOH, I did check your derivations point by point and came away exhausted, but better informed, then I would have profited and been in a better position to follow further material in that field. Much like someone who did click on the links when necessary, and thereby did learn something about defenestration in literature. Is my analogy fair, do you think?
  • 4: I am not sure that I understand your closing statement at all. "Editors"? "Poets"? Certainly not in this context. And in which of the two did you suggest that OJ fell short?

And if you think of ways to clarify or otherwise improve what I had to say, then unlike OJ, do not for an instant think that I would have the slightest objection; This is a Wiki, after all.

Please correct me wherever I misunderstood your intent. All the best, Jon JonRichfield (talk) 19:02, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Jon, I saw your post to AN/I, and as much as I love words (I spend far too much time perusing the Oxford dictionary, and consider myself an amateur philologist) I have to agree with Jamie that the contribution he evidently reverted was ... well, if you don't like "stilted", then what about "recondite", "abstruse", or "arcane"? ;-) I would have reverted it too, I'm sorry to say. What about something like this?
In his poem Defenestration, R.P. Lister wrote with amusement over the creation of so exalted a word for so basic a concept. The poem narrates the thoughts of a philosopher undergoing defenestration. As he falls, the philosopher considers why there should be a particular word for the experience, when many equally simple concepts don't have specific names. In an evidently ironic commentary on the word, Lister has the philosopher summarize his thoughts with, "I concluded that the incidence of logodaedaly was purely adventitious."[5][6]
Arthur C. Clarke also exploited the humour of the word in "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch".[7]
You might like to modify this a bit, but please do "consider your audience": A great many of our readers use English as a second language, and many others don't (or don't yet) have a college-level vocabularly. We need to be respectful of their needs here, and to "meet them where they are". A very pleasant reference, though, in my opinion, and one that should be in the article. Thanks for the contribution. Best,  – OhioStandard (talk) 09:36, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Phew! Someone who understands! Hi OS, and thanks for your reaction. Yes, I largely agree, and will be quite happy to base my response on your version. In fact, if you elect to submit it as it is yourself, I would not even bother with it; it was a bit of work peripheral to something else I was doing, where I wanted a cross-reference. There is still the notability issue of course; that one rankles. I am however constructing an article on Lister; perhaps that will convince the objectors, though I am not holding my breath, but at least appearing in an article might add to his notability and accordingly to his acceptability! The article is going slowly however; to my astonishment I discovered that Lister still is alive (surprising) and active and lucid, even productive, in his late nineties (amazing), so many things that one otherwise might gloss over as speculative, I must instead check at source. In case he is not familiar to you, you might like to have a look in on:[5] Like him or not, he wields a poignant pen!
I'll also be replying to you elsewhere. Thanks and cheers, JonRichfield (talk) 12:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Jon, for your very kind words and your gracious offer to allow me to add the content back. I appreciate that, but I really think it should be your privilege; feel free to revise as you see fit, of course. The Lister citation provides a very gratifying example; thank you for finding it. I doubt notability is a problem in this case; I think the objection was directed more to the scholarly language you used. I looked at the link for some of his poems; thanks! Delightful stuff. That's one of the things I like most about contributing here: One can't help learning new things, can't help being exposed to new intellectual experiences. Best,  – OhioStandard (talk) 08:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Jon, seeing no response here, I went ahead and added the rewritten passage, myself. Feel free to modify. To others: Lister, has been widely published; I understand Jon is working on an article about him, currently. Cheers,  – OhioStandard (talk) 09:40, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi OS, Look, sorry, I did not mean to snub or sulk; I just seem to have missed that message of yours by accident, and thanks for your unsurprisingly generous reaction. I must be growing gagga faster than RPL; I thought at first that I must have forgotten to mark this talk for watching, but in fact I had marked it, so how I missed it, I dunno! Anyway, thanks and all the best, JonRichfield (talk) 16:26, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Defenestration, definition and etymology[edit]

Folks, I have just been skimming some of the previous comments, in which it became plain that it is well for some parties that we can't punch each other through our screens. OK, all that is old stuff whenever pedants (in either the favourable or unfavourable senses) meet to sweetly debate definitions, eviscerate history, and chop logic. I don't expect this contribution to stop the process, but just in case it helps a bit, lets cool down and contemplate a few facts before rushing out to die for our respective Truths.

* Dictionary definitions need to be invoked with discretion; their details only prove anything when they are cogent. The wording of a definition is necessarily drafted by humans, in the vernacular at that, and is accordingly not immune to misunderstanding on the part of either the lexicographer or the reader. For example, the fact that some dictionary in some particular definition speaks of "throwing out of a window", is no argument for anything more than that the lexicographer had not thought of all the possible intentions and interpretations. After all, it is a minor word among hundreds of thousands, used by the occasional poet, wit, or historian, each of which presumably had his own mother-wit to sustain him.
* But of course, how are we to settle the finer points of throwing vs dropping, falling, or the condition of undergoing any of those processes? Could we appeal to the coiner of the word? Difficult. By now he is as dead as any defenestrate. But suppose we could: "Fool!" he thunders, "can't you SEE I said 'THROW'? What does that mean to you? Is 'dropping' the same as 'throwing???'" Well, perhaps it isn't, but who would let themselves be bullied like that? Does he Imagine he is Humpty Dumpty, that he may claim hegemony over those etymological roots simply because he was the first to combine them in that way?
* Nothing in those roots suggests throwing. More like "down from a window"; we might as well use the same word for climbing down all limacine like Slug Man. If throwing out and nothing but was what he meant, why didn't he say something direct and simple like "abfenestraejaculation", meaning clearly something like "away-from-window-out-throwing"?
* Defenestration as it stands clearly means pretty well what we like it to, until some official body meets in all its dread authority and abjures us all, ex cathedra, from using it in any sense, even against all sense, other than that exact one originally conceived.

Um. Which body might that be?

* Until then, as I see it, there is no stricture, logical, practical, or legal, that prevents us from using it in any reasonable sense we prefer. No dictionary definition is exclusive, and neither is any dictionary. If I elect defenestration to mean peeling potatoes with broken glass, I would be stupid, because no sensible person would understand me unless we had agreed on it in advance, but to use it to mean in context falling, jumping, being thrown (down) from, a window, all those, and several besides, transitive, intransitive, active or passive, are perfectly valid, comprehensible, and possibly even sensible.

So let us not fash ourselves with the petty stuff, shall we? Go well, JonRichfield (talk) 12:54, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Defenestration - inappropriate word[edit]

The word 'defenestration' should refer to the act of making someone/something windowless. Words like defoliation (cutting leaves off a plant), degradation, devaluation and so on imply a loss of something (leaves, quality, value) and so should defenestration - it should refer to loss of windows. The appropriate word for the act in question should be 'perfenestration' as in 'per fenestra' (through a window) and 'per aspera ad astra' (Through hardships to the stars). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:35, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I blush to admit that I like that one... The only thing that bothers me is the remaining question whether "per" carries the implication of the window having been shut or not. Throwing someone out of an open window seems very irrelevant to the presence of the window, doesn't it? It amounts to throwing him at the wall and missing, no? Now throwing him through a closed window; that shows commitment and relevance; someone will have to pay for the glass! Now, what word(s) would distinguish between throwing him through glass that isn't there, vs glass that used to be there until he passed through? I dare not even think ahead into still finer distinctions... JonRichfield (talk) 17:32, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
This is one of the funniest and most pleasantly homely threads I've read in some time. :-) Cheers,  – OhioStandard (talk) 19:18, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I Agree completely with this original topic and was wondering about it myself. It seems that this word is absolutely just really old slang and the proper definition should be the removing of window/s. for example: i bought a new house, and then had to defenestrate the bathroom because the neighbors kept looking in. The whole throw out a window is just slang and its appalling that no dictionary or anything has what should be the real definition. I mean I understand dictionaries having slang definitions because then you learn everything a word can mean, but it blows my mind that almost no one has the common sense to think of what the word should mean based on the roots. Myokymia (talk) 01:17, 12 March 2013 (UTC)Myokymia

Why is this label on here?[edit]

Robert Martinson[edit]

"Prominent examples of autodefenestration" could include Robert Martinson, who jumped out of his ninth floor Manhattan apartment, after controversially declaring "nothing works" in prison rehabilitation programs. Mino-wiijiindi (talk) 05:53, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ R. P. Lister; Defenestration; New Yorker, Sept 16th 1956.
  2. ^ J. M. Cohen (Ed.); “Yet more comic and curious verse”; Penguin Books (1959)
  3. ^ International Who's Who in Poetry 2005 (International Who's Who in Poetry). London: Europa Publications. 2004. ISBN 1-85743-269-X. 
  4. ^ Clarke, Arthur C.; “Tales from the White Hart”; Ballantine Books (1957)
  5. ^ R. P. Lister; Defenestration; The New Yorker, Sept 16th 1956.
  6. ^ J. M. Cohen (Ed.); “Yet more comic and curious verse”; Penguin Books (1959)
  7. ^ Clarke, Arthur C.; “Tales from the White Hart”; Ballantine Books (1957)