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Mar 22, 2011
This week's theme
Miscellaneous words

This week's words
usufruct
bailiwick
effulgent
lapidary
taradiddle
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

bailiwick

PRONUNCIATION:
(BAY-luh-wik)

MEANING:
noun: A person's area of expertise or interest.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Middle English bailliwik, from bailie (bailiff), from bail (custody), from Latin baiulare (to serve as porter) + Middle English wick (dairy farm or village), from Old English wic (house or village), from Latin vicus (neighborhood). Ultimately from the Indo-European root weik- (clan), which is also the forebear of vicinity, village, villa, and villain (originally, a villain was a farm servant, one who lived in a villa or a country house), ecumenical, and ecesis. Earliest documented use: 1460.

USAGE:
"Ms. Sarah Palin took the extraordinary step Tuesday of filing an ethics complaint against herself, making the matter fall within the bailiwick of the personnel board. Her lawyer Mr. Van Flein then asked the Legislature to drop its inquiry."
Peter S. Goodman and Michael Moss; Alaska Lawmakers to Seek Subpoenas in Palin Inquiry; The New York Times; Sep 6, 2008.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The strongest natures, when they are influenced, submit the most unreservedly; it is perhaps a sign of their strength. -Virginia Woolf, writer (1882-1941)

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