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This week's theme
Words related to the names of fish

This week's words
minnow
gudgeon
remora
inconnu
tope

Today's word in
Visual Thesaurus

Loach Minnow
Loach minnow
(Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

I remember the day I caught my first, and last, fish. I was in college. During the winter break, a friend invited me to visit him. With makeshift fishing rods in our hands we went to the dam near his house. I sat there uneasily, holding the rod with the line dipped in the still water of the reservoir. A while later there was a tug and I promptly handed over the rod to my friend. He pulled the line in. There was a small orange fish on the end. It was alive, wildly flailing at its sudden change of fortune. With a promise of food I had tricked it out of its life.

Much time has passed since then. Now whenever I'm near water and see someone sitting with a fishing rod extended over the lake, I softly say "Good luck!" in his general direction. He thanks me. I tell him I was saying that to the fish. He smiles at the apparent joke... But I wasn't joking.

All of this week's words refer to fish, but they are more than just fish words. They can also be used metaphorically in other senses.

minnow

PRONUNCIATION:
(MIN-o)

MEANING:
noun: 1. Any of the small freshwater fish of the Cyprinidae family. 2. Someone or something considered insignificant.

ETYMOLOGY:
Ultimately from Old High German munewa, a kind of fish, via Old English and Middle English.

USAGE:
"Compared with the Scottish Parliament, a regional authority in the north-east would indeed be a minnow."
Tony Travers; The Long Struggle; New Statesman (London); May 20, 2002.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Eyes are vocal, tears have tongues, \ And there are words not made with lungs. -Richard Crashaw, poet (1613-1649)

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