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Sep 5, 2013
This week's theme
Words borrowed from Japanese

This week's words
kabuki
honcho
skosh
kamikaze
tycoon

kamikaze
Kamikaze: A typhoon destroying the invading Mongol fleet
Art: Kikuchi Yoosai, 1847
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with Anu Garg

kamikaze

PRONUNCIATION:
(kah-mi-KAH-zee)

MEANING:
noun: Someone who behaves in a reckless, self-destructive manner.
adjective: Extremely reckless, potentially self-destructive.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Japanese kamikaze (divine wind), from kami (god, divinity) + kaze (wind). Earliest documented use: 1896.

NOTES:
In Japanese folklore, kamikaze was the divine wind that destroyed a Mongol invasion fleet under Kublai Khan. In World War II, the kamikaze were suicidal attacks by Japanese pilots who crashed their planes on an enemy target such as a ship.

USAGE:
"We're traveling along busy, multilane roads, and the kamikaze driving makes me glad that I'm not behind the handlebars. Romans drive as though they're playing a video game: They're fast and aggressive, taking turns as if they're in Super Mario Kart -- and the winner is the one reaching the next traffic light first."
Kelly DiNardo; Roam in Today's Chariot; The Washington Post; Aug 4, 2013.

See more usage examples of kamikaze in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -Hans Hofmann, painter (1880-1966)

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