top of page


The Beak Where People Speak

Altered classical painting of "A Young Lady With a Parrot" painting by Rosalba Carriera, currently in the Art Institute of Chicago

Amid the recent inauguration news, I kept hearing the word “rostrum.”

“As he approaches the rostrum tomorrow…”“Donald Trump began his term from the same rostrum…”“In his inaugural address Wednesday, delivered from a rostrum…”

Obviously this word wasn’t crucial to my understanding of what was happening, but being the inquisitive type, I needed to know all about it.

A rostrum is basically a podium. There are subtle differences, but for all intents and purposes, it’s a podium. 

That’s not the good bit, though. The good bit is what comes before the definition, the story of how we got the definition. 

Like so many others, this story goes back to ancient Rome (and their fighting preferences). Learn all about it on episode 68 of the Vocabbett podcast! You can listen on your favorite player, or hit play below!

Featured art: Altered painting, "A Young Lady With a Parrot" by Rosalba Carriera, Art Institute of Chicago

bottom of page