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A.Word.A.Day--bunyanesque

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: eponyms.

bunyanesque (bun-yuh-NESK) adjective

1. Gigantic; of or relating to the legends of the fictional hero Paul Bunyan.

2. Of or relating to the allegorical style of the author John Bunyan.

The first sense of the word alludes to the legendary giant Paul Bunyan. He was a lumberjack and an American folk hero of tall tales. The story goes that the infant Paul was so huge that it took a mustering of storks to deliver him. An example of his ability is a story that when he dragged his axe behind him, he created the Grand Canyon (a near-rhyme for Bunyan).

John Bunyan (no relation to Paul Bunyan) was a 17th century English preacher famed for his allegorical novel Pilgrim's Progress.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"Once again, a Dominican strongman with a catchy nickname -- Big Papi -- is up against a strapping native strongman of Bunyanesque dimensions -- Thome." Gordon Edes; Ramirez Will Rest During Break; The Boston Globe; Jul 8, 2006.

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Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. -Benjamin Franklin, statesman, author, and inventor (1706-1790)

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