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Jun 11, 2014
This week's theme
Words that aren't what they appear to be

This week's words
dispositive
holograph
plutarchy
reproof
votary

Ploutos
Ploutos with his mother Eirene
Photo: Oriana

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

plutarchy

PRONUNCIATION:
(PLOO-tahr-kee)

MEANING:
noun: 1. Rule by the wealthy. 2. A wealthy ruling class.

ETYMOLOGY:
The Greek biographer Plutarch (c. 46-120 CE) has no connection with this word. Rather, it's Ploutos, the god of riches in Greek mythology. The word (and its synonym plutocracy and the word plutolatry) are derived from Greek pluto- (wealth) + archos (ruler), from arkhein (to rule). Earliest documented use: 1643.

USAGE:
"Boston's upper crust made sure that they had an unfair advantage over their less fortunate neighbors, an advantage intended to perpetuate plutarchy and a socially stratified society."
Keith Krawczynski; Daily Life in the Colonial City; Greenwood; 2012.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men. -Alice Walker, poet and novelist (b. 1944)

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