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Feb 4, 2015
This week’s theme
Words from the Bible

This week’s words
nimrod
via dolorosa
scapegoat
gethsemane
samaritan

The Scapegoat
The Scapegoat
Art: William Holman Hunt, 1854

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

scapegoat

PRONUNCIATION:
(SKAYP-goht)

MEANING:
noun: One blamed for another’s wrongdoing.
verb tr.: To blame someone for another’s wrongdoing.

ETYMOLOGY:
As sometimes happens with ancient books, this term arose as a misreading of a word as Hebrew ’ez ’ozel (goat that departs) for what was, in fact, the proper noun Azazel, apparently a name for a demon. The explanation given in Leviticus 16:8 is that one casts one’s sins on a goat and lets it escape into the wilderness. Earliest documented use: 1530.

USAGE:
“Not surprisingly, these writers found their ideal scapegoat in Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish military officer wrongly accused of treason in what became the trial of the century.”
Turning Dark; The Economist (London, UK); Apr 26, 2014.

See more usage examples of scapegoat in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Poor is the power of the lead that becomes bullets compared to the power of the hot metal that becomes types. -Georg Brandes, critic and scholar (4 Feb 1842-1927)

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