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Jan 6, 2010
This week's theme
Covering the extremities

This week's words
cothurnal
gauntlet
buskin
sock
discalced

Buskins
Buskin
(Source: Wikipedia)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

buskin

PRONUNCIATION:
(BUS-kin)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A thick-soled laced boot, reaching to the knee or calf, worn by actors of ancient Greek tragedies. Also known as cothurnus.
2. A tragic drama.

ETYMOLOGY:
Perhaps from Middle French brousequin.

NOTES:
A thick-soled boot was a distinctive feature of a tragic actor in ancient Greece. It elevated him and raised his stature. Because those big shoes were often worn by tragedians, we came to refer to a tragedy itself as a buskin. A counterpart of buskin is sock (a comedy) after soccus, a lightweight low shoe worn by comic actors.

USAGE:
"'My vein,' wrote Corneille, 'often combines the lofty buskin with the comic sock, and ... pleases the audience by striking contrasting notes.'"
Linda Winer; Corneille With Kushner's Help; Newsday (New York); Jan 20, 1994.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's? -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)

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