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Permanent link for this word: avuncular
A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
MEANING:adjective: In the manner of an uncle, in benevolence, affection, or good humor.
ETYMOLOGY:From Latin avunculus (maternal uncle), diminutive of avus (grandfather). Ultimately from the Indo-European root awo- (an adult male relative), which is also the source of atavism, uncle, and ayah.
NOTES:Originally the term referred to a mother's brother, from avunculus meaning maternal uncle (paternal uncle was patruus). What's fascinating is how it describes an uncle: avunculus, meaning a little grandfather. The word uncle is slang for a pawnbroker, so the word avuncular could also mean like a pawnbroker.
The female counterpart of the word is materteral, meaning auntlike.
USAGE:"Daphne Merkin wrote that Madoff, with his avuncular charm, gave individual investors the sense of being part of an extended family."
Clark Hoyt; Behind a Byline, Family Ties; The New York Times; Apr 11, 2009.
Explore "avuncular" in the Visual Thesaurus.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear. -Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher (1844-1900)
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