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Mar 28, 2017
This week’s theme
When etymology meets entomology

This week’s words
earwig
gadfly
puce
paparazzo

gadfly
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

gadfly

PRONUNCIATION:
(GAD-fly)

MEANING:
noun:
1. Any of the various types of flies that bite or annoy livestock.
2. One who persistently annoys.

ETYMOLOGY:
From gad (a goad for cattle), from Middle English, from Old Norse gaddr. Earliest documented use: 1626.

USAGE:
“As a gadfly, Socrates earns the ire of Athens and its rulers, but it is only by stirring the state, a ‘great and noble steed,’ that we can dare to effect any sort of change for the better.”
Christopher Thomas; The Columbia Spectator (New York); Feb 28, 2017.

See more usage examples of gadfly in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it. It's rather like getting tenure. -Daniel Dennett, philosopher, writer, and professor (b. 28 Mar 1942)

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