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Sep 28, 2009
This week's theme
Words derived from hands and feet

This week's words
prestidigitation
antipodal
legerdemain
expediency
mortmain
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

A writer usually doesn't have a boss. On the other hand, a writer's boss is his readers. You could say I have hundreds of thousands of bosses. But this relationship is not so clearcut. Let me explain.

From time to time a reader is displeased with something I have written, and emails: "Keep your opinions to yourself or you will lose readers." Appreciative as I am of my readers -- they are whom I write for -- I do not always write to try to please them. I express my opinion.

Some opinions resonate and some leave them fuming, but they all can see -- I hope -- that it comes from my heart. I don't expect everyone to agree with me or my beliefs.

Well, at least this week, I'm at your service hand and foot, etymologically speaking. All words to be featured have either hand or foot as their origin, even though it may not always be obvious.

prestidigitation

PRONUNCIATION:
(pres-ti-dij-i-TAY-shuhn)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A sleight of hand.
2. Deceitfulness, trickery.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French prestidigitation (conjuring), from preste (nimble) + Latin digitus (finger).

USAGE:
"It is, of course, a nonsense number, a statistical prestidigitation."
Polly Toynbee; Is There Pensions Apartheid?; The Guardian (London, UK); Jul 4, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. -Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

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