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Mar 2, 2010
This week's theme
Words borrowed from various languages

This week's words
goulash
cabal
potlatch
laager
baksheesh

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

cabal

PRONUNCIATION:
(kuh-BAL)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A small, secret group of plotters or intriguers.
2. The plots of such a group.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via French and Latin, from Hebrew kabbalah (tradition), literally "something received".

NOTES:
Kabbalah is the ancient Jewish tradition of the mystical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. During the reign of Charles II of England, it was pointed out that the names of a group of his ministers (Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Arlington, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Ashley, and Lord Lauderdale) made the acronym CABAL. Also see, backronym.

USAGE:
"The barrage was the latest salvo from a group of small silver and gold investors who claim that a cabal of banks is conspiring to keep precious metals too cheap."
Gregory Meyer; Silver and Gold Critics Win Hearing; Financial Times (London, UK); Feb 25, 2010.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. -Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)

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