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This week's theme: lesser-known counterparts of common words.
nocebo (no-SEE-bo) noun
A substance producing harmful effects in someone because it is believed to be harmful, but which in reality is harmless.
[From Latin nocebo (I will harm), from nocere (to harm). Modeled after placebo (I will please).]
An article with many interesting examples of nocebo effect.
-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
"Both groups who received nocebos showed elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood." James Morgan; Is Your Pain a Trick of the Mind? The Herald (Glasgow, UK); Jan 12, 2007.
I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone. -Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president (1890-1969)
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