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A.Word.A.Day--balneal

Pronunciation RealAudio

balneal (BAL-nee-uhl) adjective

Relating to baths or bathing.

[From Latin balneum (bath), from Greek balaneion (bathing room or bath).]

How wide-ranging terms a single root could sprout. Today's term has cousins in fields as diverse as medicine, cooking, and well, entertainment:

balneology: the study of therapeutic use of baths, especially in mineral spring water. A related term is balneotherapy.

bain-marie: literally, bath of Mary, a pan with hot water in which smaller pans may be placed for slow cooking or to keep the food warm.

bagnio : brothel.

"The Cajka baths are still appreciated, and balneal treatment is still used to ameliorate neurone diseases ..." D. Turnock & Francis W. Carter; Environmental Problems in Eastern Europe; Routledge; 1993.

"Etienne was following with listless eye the reduced activity of his balneal colleagues. Some suddenly got up and went to have a dip ..." Raymond Queneau; Witch Grass (translated by Barbara Wright); New York Review of Books; Feb 2003.

This week's theme: assorted words.

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