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Feb 3, 2014
This week's theme
Words from Harry Potter

This week's words
scud
resplendent
slipstream
heinous
sepulchral
higgledy-piggledy
canker

Harry Potter stamp
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

This week's Guest Wordsmith, Ananya Garg (ananya at wordsmith.org), writes:

When people think of Harry Potter, they think wizards and magic spells and potions. And while this is all great, the real magic of the story is in the love and friendship that Harry Potter is all about.

It is nearly impossible to say how much Harry Potter has changed my life and made me the person I am today. The Harry Potter series was my childhood and its life lessons helped me grow. Whenever I have been in a bad mood, Harry Potter has been there for me. When I didn't have friends at school, I didn't feel so bad because I knew Harry, Ron, Hermione, and everyone else was just a turn of a page away.

In these books, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore stands out for me. He says many wise words that have stayed with me. One time he says to Harry, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Dumbledore is telling Harry not to dwell on the past, and to live out his life to the best of his ability even though his parents aren't with him anymore. It made me feel as if he was saying, if you want something you have to go and get it, rather than sit around and dream, waiting for something to happen. Also, don't sit around worrying about the past and things that you can't change.

This week I'll feature seven words, one from each of the seven books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

[Ananya Garg, my daughter, is a high school junior and founder & president of Harry Potter Club at her school.]

scud

PRONUNCIATION:
(skud)

MEANING:
verb intr.:1. To run or move swiftly.
 2. In nautical parlance, to run before a gale with little or no sail set.
noun:1. The act of scudding.
 2. Clouds, rain, mist, etc. driven by the wind.
 3. Low clouds beneath another cloud layer.

ETYMOLOGY:
Of uncertain origin, possibly from Middle Low German schudden (to shake). Earliest documented use: 1609.

USAGE:
"The moon was bright, but the clouds scudding across kept throwing them [Harry et al] into darkness."
J.K. Rowling; Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; Bloomsbury; 1997.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something. -Gertrude Stein, novelist, poet, and playwright (1874-1946)

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