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A.Word.A.Day--kahuna

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

This week's theme: words borrowed from other languages.

kahuna (kuh-HOO-nuh) noun

1. A priest or a medicine man.

2. An important person (usually in the phrase: big kahuna).

[From Hawaiian kahuna. Hawaiian is a Polynesian language spoken in the Hawaiian islands in the Pacific. The number of native speakers of the language has decreased to just a few hundred.]

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"It's tough being yesterday's man. At a briefing introducing investors to the new AMP boss Craig Dunn, outgoing kahuna Andrew Mohl appeared a little left out." Michael Evans; Marginbet Takes Even Bigger Bet; The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia); Nov 27, 2007.

X-Bonus

I learn that ten percent of all the world's species are parasitic insects. It is hard to believe. What if you were an inventor, and you made ten percent of your inventions in such a way that they could only work by harnessing, disfiguring or totally destroying the other ninety percent? -Annie Dillard, author (b. 1945)

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