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A.Word.A.Day--haruspicy

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words related to forecasting and divination.

haruspicy (hur-RUS-puh-see) noun

Divination by inspecting the entrails of sacrificed animals.

[From Latin haruspicium, from haruspex, from hira (entrails) + specere (to look at).]

A priest in ancient Rome who performed haruspicy was called a haruspex. The liver was the popular organ of choice in haruspicy.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"Figuring out where the economy is headed often seems like a modern version of haruspicy." The Diviners Say: Let It Fall; The Los Angeles Times; Aug 20, 2001.

X-Bonus

The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself. -Archibald MacLeish, poet and librarian (1892-1982)

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