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Jun 10, 2020
This week’s theme
Words having origins in rivers

This week’s words
Yarra-banker
Klondike
Rubicon
meander
Niagara

rubicon
The modern Rubicon river

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Rubicon

PRONUNCIATION:
(ROO-bi-kon)

MEANING:
noun: A point of no return, one where an action taken commits a person irrevocably.

ETYMOLOGY:
Contrary to popular belief, Caesar salad is not named after Julius Caesar. But today’s term does have a connection to him. In 49 BCE, Caesar crossed the Rubicon, a small river that formed the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy. As he crossed the river into Italy, he exclaimed “Iacta alea est” (The die is cast), knowing well that his action signified a declaration of war with Rome. Today when an action marks a situation where there is no going back, we say the Rubicon has been crossed. Earliest documented use: 1613.

USAGE:
“Singapore has adopted various measures to combat the increasingly ominous spectre of climate change. Swift and decisive action must be taken before Singapore, and the world at large, crosses the Rubicon leading to irreversible ecological impact that affects each and every Singaporean.”
Stanley Lai; Defining Interface Between IP Rights and Climate Change; Business Times (Singapore); Apr 28, 2020.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Everybody needs his memories. They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door. -Saul Bellow, writer, Nobel laureate (10 Jun 1915-2005)

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