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May 17, 2011
This week's theme
Words derived from circus

This week's words
three-ring circus
desultory
dog-and-pony show
hey rube
jumbo
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

desultory

PRONUNCIATION:
(DES-uhl-tor-ee)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Marked by absence of a plan; disconnected; jumping from one thing to another.
2. Digressing from the main subject; random.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin desultorius (leaping, pertaining to a circus rider who jumps from one horse to another), from desilire (to leap down), from salire (to jump). Other words derived from the same Latin root, salire, are sally, somersault, insult, result, saute, salient, and saltant. Earliest documented use: 1581.

USAGE:
"Anyway, here we are with our little burgers and cokes, making the sort of desultory conversation that those who have been married 30 years make -- when this newly married couple walk in."
Bikram Vohra; Love is the Last Bite; Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates); Apr 16, 2011.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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