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Dec 18, 2008
This week's theme
Toponyms from India

This week's words
golconda
doolally
jodhpurs
calico
tamarind

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

calico

PRONUNCIATION:
(KAL-i-co)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A brightly printed coarse cotton cloth.
2. (Mainly British) A plain white cotton cloth.
3. An animal having a spotted coat, especially with red and black patches.

adjective:
1. Made from such a cloth.
2. Having a spotted pattern.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Calicut, former name of Kozhikode, a city in southern India from where this cloth was exported. Other words for clothes with Indian origins are bandana, cashmere, chintz, dungarees, jodhpurs, khakis, madras, pajamas, and seersucker (not all are toponyms).

USAGE:
"Before Mr. Homer's barefoot urchins and little girls in calico sun-bonnets, straddling beneath a cloudless sky upon the national rail fence, the whole effort of the critic is instinctively to contract himself."
John Updike, Homer's Epic: A Wonderful Painter With No Theory, The New Republic (Washington, DC), Feb 5, 1996.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In politics, absurdity is not a handicap. -Napoleon Bonaparte, general and politician (1769-1821)

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