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Jan 22, 2015
This week’s theme
Insults

This week’s words
ultracrepidarian
mythomane
libertine
homunculus
vacuous

homunculus
A tiny human inside a sperm
Drawing: N. Hartsoecker, 1695
Source: Wikimedia

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

homunculus

PRONUNCIATION:
(huh-MUHNG-kyuh-luhs, HO-)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A diminutive human being.
2. A fully formed, miniature human being that was earlier believed to be present in a sperm or an egg.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin homunculus (little man), diminutive of homo (man). Ultimately from the Indo-European root dhghem- (earth), which also gave us allochthonous, autochthonous, chameleonic, chthonic, disinter, and inhume. Earliest documented use: 1656.

USAGE:
“‘I’m a well-educated, contributing member of society!’ this shameless homunculus yelled.”
Rachel Chang; Feeling Second-Class First Hand; Straits Times (Singapore); Jun 30, 2013.

“Self-aggrandizing homunculus Bono says love of money is the root of Mick Jagger.”
Liz Braun; Bono’s views on Jagger; Sault Star (Canada); Jul 27, 2013.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. -Lord Byron, poet (22 Jan 1788-1824)

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