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Permanent link for this word: fata_morgana

A.Word.A.Day--fata morgana

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fata morgana (fata mor-GAH-nuh) noun

An optical phenomenon that creates the illusion of water, often with inverted reflections of distant objects, and results from distortion of light by alternate layers of hot and cool air. Also called mirage.

[Italian, mirage, Morgan le Fay (from the belief that the mirage was caused by her witchcraft) : fata, fairy (from Vulgar Latin fata, goddess of fate) + Morgana, Morgan, probably from Old Irish Morrigain.]

"It is too early in Go-Go to have predictable, controllable results, and a bonus based exclusively on a formula of controllable and achievable results is a fata morgana." Ichak Adizes, Surviving the Go-Go Years, The Pursuit of Prime, Jan 1996.

This week's theme: words from the Italian language.


A ship ought not to be held by one anchor, nor life by a single hope. -Epictetus, philosopher (c. 60-120)

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