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AWADmail Issue 279

November 4, 2007

A Weekly Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Interesting Tidbits about Words and Languages


From: Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
Subject: Interesting stories from the net

What's in a Name?
The New York Times

The Origin of the Term Terrorist:
The New York Times

The Origin of the Term Economics (by Yours Truly) :
Freakonomics blog at the New York Times


From: Joe Trivers (joe.trivers gmail.com)
Subject: jentacular

There's an amusing poem about breakfast nostalgia at bourboncowboy.blogspot.com.


From: Frederick Armstrong (frederick-armstrong terra.com.mx)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--jentacular

In Portuguese, jantar is to dine.


From: Mike Rowan (mike.rowan experient-inc.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cibarious

Does this mean that if I enjoy watching others eat a meal I'm living cibariously through them?


From: Moshe Davis (moshed sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--cibarious

I believe there's a boutique retail grocery store chain in the US East Coast that is called "Ciba"... and now I know why. This word is nearly identical to an Aramaic word found in the Talmud (ziburious) that means "poor-quality produce".


From: David Laine (davidlaine blueyonder.co.uk)
Subject: Re: macaronic

I spotted a good example of macaronic in the Western Morning News yesterday: "these nouveau wunderkind ..."

So I thought I'd ask the fount of all knowledge, Wordsmith, if there was a word to describe the use of two or more languages in the same sentence. Opened my A.Word.A.Day and there it was! Have you taken up telepathy now?


From: J Michael Sharman (jmsharman tiscali.co.uk)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--macaronic

One of my favourite Christmas Carols is the macaronic hymn 'In Dulci Jubilo'. This was originally written in dog Latin and old German and dates back to the 14th Century at Leipzig University. Various translations of the German parts into English have been made (by e.g. Wedderburn, Bowring, and Pearsall). The translation that starts 'Good Christians all rejoice' is one of John Mason Neale's rare horrors. The first verse of one translation reads:

In dulci jubilo [in sweet shouting]
Now sing with hearts aglow!
Our delight and pleasure
Lies in praesepio [in a manger]
Like sunshine is our treasure
Matris in gremio. [in his mother's lap]
Alpha es et O. [You are Alpha and Omega]


From: James Divine (divine owt.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--xerophagy

Perhaps a newer meaning: When the copier eats the originals.


From: Kris Thurston (kithurston verizon.net)
Subject: A.Word.A.Day as a marriage saver

I love A.Word.A.Day -- my husband does, too, and we talk about the unusual words. Who knows, maybe AWAD has saved our marriage a few times since we've been subscribers.


A closed mind is like a closed book: just a block of wood. -Chinese Proverb

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