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Mar 28, 2011
This week's theme
Words for body parts used figuratively

This week's words
accolade
elbow grease
pugnacious
dauphin
bumf

The Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton
The Accolade
Art: Edmund Blair Leighton
(1853-1922)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Here's a pop quiz: Who was Gluteus Maximus? Even though it sounds like the name of some ancient Roman general, gluteus maximus is actually the name of a muscle. Its claim to fame is that it's the biggest muscle in the human body. Can you guess where one can find it? Hint: you sit on it. It finds its home in the posterior.

This week we'll see five words derived from body parts, including one gluteus maximus calls its home. We'll start from the top and make our way down, as we visit the neck, elbow, fist, womb, and bum.

accolade

PRONUNCIATION:
(AK-uh-layd, -lahd, ak-uh-LAYD, -LAHD)

MEANING:
noun:
1. An award, honor, or an expression of praise.
2. A touch on someone's shoulders with the flat blade of a sword in the ceremony of conferring knighthood. Earlier an embrace was used instead.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French accolade (an embrace), from accoler (to embrace), from Latin accolare, from ad- (to, on) + collum (neck). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kwel- (to revolve), which is also the source of words such as colony, cult, culture, cycle, cyclone, chakra, collar, col , palindrome, and palinode. Earliest documented use: 1623.

USAGE:
"The firm's Bangor branch took the accolade for best performing store."
Asda's Price Guarantee Helps Sales; Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland); Feb 23, 2011.

See more usage examples of accolade in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves. -Soren Kierkegaard, philosopher (1813-1855)

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