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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.

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