X's patricide

< Previous | Next >

akhooha

Senior Member
English - USA
Reading the sentence "Did you know about X's patricide?", would you assume that X was the perpetrator or the victim? Thank you.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The perpetrator.

    Unless, of course, the victim had killed his father some time before he was himself murdered by his son or daughter, and that is what you're talking about. But this seems pretty unlikely.
     

    akhooha

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Thank you, heypresto, for your quick reply.
    I'd also assumed that X was the perpetrator, but learned later from my correspondent that X was the victim.
    It will be interesting to see others' assumptions.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I doubt I would use the term "X's patricide" at all because of the potential for confusion. There aren't a lot of examples to go on, but I think if I heard "X's homicide" or "X's regicide", I would expect X to be the person who was killed (of course, with regicide it is usually obvious whether it is the killer or the murdered man being talked about). The only time this form is regularly used is "X's suicide" where there is no confusion.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I see Oxford Dictionaries Online list patricide as both The killing of one's father and A person who kills their father which clearly supports the view that it must refer to the perpetrator.

    I will admit on the other hand that I've never actually seen it used like that.
     

    Pertinax

    Senior Member
    BrE->AuE
    I agree with Uncle Jack that it can be very ambiguous. E.g.
    Rome's conquest of <the conquered country>
    Rome's conquest by <the conquering country>


    I'm not sure about "X's patricide". When I google "patricide of the" X, I find more examples where X is the victim.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top